Six Tips to Help You Control Your Portions to Eat Healthy

"Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them." -- Henry Ford

I sat down to a plate of pasta and vegetables the other day. The plate was over 10 inches in diameter, lots of room for lots of food. I filled it up.

What if I had an entire set of tableware that would allow me to control portion sizes. Would it work or would it be a waste of time.

Would I eat less cereal if I had a smaller bowl with a portion size marking?
Would I eat less pasta if I used a plate that was 6 inches in diameter or was marked with a circular border to measure the amount?
Would I eat less meat a clear way to visualize the proper portion size?

Well, researcher at Cornell University hosted an ice cream social. Participants were randomly given a large bowl or a small one. They were also handed a small or large spoon. The results? Those who used the larger bowl ate just over 30% more than those who used the smaller bowl. Also, those who received a larger spoon served themselves 15% more ice cream than those who used the small spoons.

Portion size control through the use of smaller eating utensils does work. Here are some practical tips to help you cut back on excess calories:

1. Purchase snacks in single serving size.
2. Learn how to visualize the proper portion sizes for vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, peanut butter and others.
3. Share a dessert.
4. Put aside half of that restaurant meal and have it packed by the waiter before you begin eating.
5. For those foods you tend to overeat, portion out snack-sized plastic baggies with the standard portion sizes.
6. Never eat out of the package.

NOTE: Be aware of emotionally driven eating and follow the above.


fish (3 oz) = checkbook size (175 calories)
chicken breast (3 oz) = deck of playing cards (94 calories)
pasta (cooked 1/2 cup) = golf ball size
orange (1 cup) = tennis ball (65 calories)
butter (1 tsp) = a scrabble tile (67 calories)
dinner roll = a yo-yo (85 calories)
potato = a computer mouse (130 calories)
brown rice (1/2 cup) = an ice cream scoop (110 calories)
beef (3 oz) = bar of soap (140 calories)
peanut butter (1 tsp.) = one die (100 calories)
hamburger = (3 oz) = a mayo jar lid (250 calories)

On page 185 of Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein’s book, Weight Loss - Twenty Pounds in Ten Weeks - Move It to Lose It, you will find a handy serving size overview. On pages, 178 - 181 you will find 1,200 calorie and 1,600 calorie menus as a guide to customize to your eating lifestyle.

Author's Bio: 

Lt. Col. Weinstein, nationally known as the Health Colonel, has been featured on the History Channel and specializes in a military-style workout for all fitness levels on Fort Lauderdale Beach in South Florida. He is the author of Boot Camp Fitness for All Shapes and Sizes, Weight Loss - Twenty Pounds in Ten Weeks - Move It to Lose It, Discover Your Inner Strength (co-author), Change Made Easy and Quotes to Live By. More info on his books at

His website:
Office 954-636-5351