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Portion Size: Biggest Factor for Weight Loss?

Your portion size may have a larger impact on your overall health and weight than you realise. When we modify our diet for the goal of losing weight, we typically focus our attention to what we eat and how much we exercise. Oftentimes, we neglect to consider just how much food we’re eating in one sitting.

You likely remember being a child and the grown-ups telling you to eat all the food that is on your plate. Unfortunately, this type of behavior typically stays with us into our adult years. We fill our plate with a lot of food and then eat every last bite. The fact that plates have become larger in just a century’s time (from 23 cm to 28 cm) doesn’t help. We simply end up eating more than we should because we believe we need to eat everything on our plate.

In addition to our plate size increase, the portions of processed foods have also spiked over the years. As consumers, our perception is skewed so that we believe we can get a little extra food, 10-20%, for the same price. This is what the popular marketing phrase, “Better Value for the Money” means.

It’s not uncommon to see an abnormally large cookie in the store because everything has grown in portion size. From a simple muffin to the size of a small drink or coffee, we have come to perceive these bigger portions as ‘normal’ for our meals and/or snacks.

The biggest reason for the lack of energy in people today is excessive calorie consumption. Even if you follow a healthy, well-balanced diet; less is more. We end up storing our unused energy in particular areas of our bodies like the arms, thighs, butt, and tummy.

Adam has been with Fitstyler for one year. He is significantly active going to the gym two nights a week, playing hockey, and attending our boot camps two times a week. He has noticed great overall improvements so far in his fitness level. His resting heart rate is now 45bpm. A funny, but worthy note; Adam was having his blood pressure taken recently and the nurse seemed surprised at just how low it was.

So despite the improvements in his fitness level and his lower blood pressure, his efforts weren’t trimming the excess padding on his waistline. This is the moment he decided to make some changes to his portion size, not his diet, just how much he ate each time. This alone granted him amazing results. His weight loss increased and he slimmed down 2cm in the lower stomach area.

Recommended Portion Size

It doesn’t have to be hard to know what a good size portion is. You can use your hand as a rough guide and we’ve included the following to show proper proportions.

  • Rice/Pasta/Fruit & Vegetables: 2 x cupped hands
  • Fish, Poultry & Meat: The flat section of your hand, fingers excluded.
  • Carbohydrates: 1 x clenched fist
  • Nuts: 1 cupped hand

How Much Should I Eat?

Every individual is different and will fill up faster or slower than others. The best way to determine this is by selecting smaller portions, including the size of your plate. Try to avoid getting seconds or thirds on meals.

Learn to know when your hunger is ‘satisfied’ to avoid overeating to the point you don’t want to move or your stomach is anything but comfortable.

Another habit many of us have today is that we eat too fast. If you slow down while you’re eating, you might be surprised to find that you are fuller sooner. That’s because you’re eating slowly enough for your digestive system to process what you’re consuming, signaling the brain that you’re full.

If you finish what you have and still feel hungry, go for more vegetables or a healthy side versus more carbs or meat, like rice or pasta.


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Keeping fit and healthy shouldn't be a chore. In fact, exercise should be a regular part of life just like brushing our teeth. Fitstyler helps you create healthy habits. We make it easy to look good and feel great, just by showing you simple changes you can make to what you eat and how often you exercise.

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