Live Better – Portion Control

This page is part of Live Better Health Coaching. Find out about Live Better by clicking here.

Before you start…

Make sure you have a pen and paper handy. You will be asked to complete simple, written tasks as you go along.

Allow time to work through the whole topic, preferably without distractions – 30 minutes should be plenty.

Watch the video

For your convenience, you can watch a short video covering the topic below.

The Problem

Here are the main problems you will try to solve this week.

The Problem
Writing Task
  • Which of these problems ring true with you or not?
  • What other problems do you experience with your portion sizes?
  • How do you currently measure the portion sizes of the food you eat?

A Solution

Here is an overall solution for the problems you face. Make sure you understand the general idea of how you are going to solve things.

A Solution
Writing Task
  • List how this possible solution may or may not work for you.
  • How you can consistently measure your food portions, so you can adapt these accordingly to meet your health goals?

Your Action

Here is the detailed Action Plan you can follow, like a recipe, to solve the problem.

Your Action
Writing Task
  • Re-write Your Action above, but customising it to your personal situation.
  • List the barriers to you successfully completing Your Action this week (eg – what events, situations, people etc could get in your way?)
  • List the ways that Your Action can be made easier to achieve this week (eg – what tools, tactics, people etc can help you overcome your barriers?)

Now do it

Now you have your Action Plan in place for the coming week, make sure you actually do it! Don’t let yourself get distracted or nudged off course.

If you complete the Homework Form to log Your Action, you will receive reminders throughout the week to help you stay on track.

Remember, you are worth the effort you will put into this…

Top Tips

Top tips
  • Measure your portion sizes. Find an approach that works for you eg weighing scales, hands.
  • Be consistent – this is an ideal opportunity to try something new and not rely on old habits.
  • Reduce your plate size to help reduce portion sizes.
  • Use your food diary to track your portion sizes and the impact on your health.

Remember, portion sizes can go down and up, depending on your goals.

Tools to help

The infographic below shows more information as a guide to portion sizes.

portion control

Homework Form – if you complete this online you will receive reminders to help you throughout the week.

Review Form – complete your review online before you attend the Review Coaching Session so you are prepared for the session.

Continue your food and exercise diary – these will form a valuable source of data for you as you progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I be eating?

This varies from person to person depending on lots of different factors e.g. gender, activity levels, age, how big you are etc

The infographic above gives the general guidelines for the average person. Using your food diary you can track your portion sizes and learn more about the impact on your weight and overall health. You can personalise your portion sizes to help you achieve your health goals.

I can’t weigh all my food, I haven’t got time!

We know this isn’t technically a question! It is a comment we hear a lot.

The easy answer is, you don’t have to weigh everything. The key is actually knowing how much you are eating so you can adjust it. Not guessing. Using your hands is a simple option – most of us have them t our disposal all the time. You can also use jugs, cups, containers to measure your quantity and compare next time.

It might be you weigh a portion one time, see how much this fills your container and then use this for subsequent measures.

What if I’m eating out? How can I control portion sizes when I get what I’m given?

I know this might sound obvious, but, you don’t have to eat all the food on the plate, because it’s on the plate!

That said, we also know it can be tempting to keep eating when you are enjoying a meal out.

Remember, you do have choices! Some things to try:

  • Share courses or side dishes – eating half a portion of fries is better than a whole one!
  • Choose a starter as a main course and add extra veggies to balance the meal out.
  • Ask the waiter for a side plate and decant some food off your main plate at the start.
  • Ask for a smaller portion – if you don’t ask you’ll never know, and a lot of restaurants are very flexible.
  • If you have planned for a special meal where you know you are going to indulge, plan for a ‘leaner’ couple of days earlier in the week.