Portion Control

To lose weight we must achieve a slight negative energy balance. We must consume a little less fuel (food) , than we burn to run our body’s systems and perform physical activity.

One major reason for weight gain in our modern society is that portion size over time has been distorted.  The portions are generally larger than we ever actually need by about 1/3. Most of us consume this extra food we do not need, because we eat regular meals on regular size plates and have become used to the bigger portion sizes.   It may take 20 to 30 minutes for our hunger feelings to disappear after eating. Eating smaller portions and then leaving the “eating area” before we feel “full” is a good life change tactic.

One simple way to re-calibrate our expectation for how much food we should be consuming, is to simply use a smaller plate and reduce our portion sizes until we are achieving a steady weekly weight loss.

It is usually simpler to reduce our portions instead of changing what we eat, where we eat, and when we eat. We can focus on healthier alternatives later.

For successful permanent weight loss don’t immediately starve yourself or suddenly go crazy exercising like many popular programs are currently proposing.

If you cut down food intake too rapidly or suddenly add daily sessions of extreme amounts of exercise, you will trigger your body into a “famine response”. It is felt in the form of extreme hunger that will drive you to eat and will also slow your metabolism in order to reduce your energy consumption rate to fight against you reducing your fat stores.  This is how your body reacts when if it believes it is being faced with a food shortage. Your body was designed to work this way.

Extremes don’t work!

The famine response is your biggest enemy when you are attempting to permanently lose weight.

The solution is 

    1. Find what for you works so that you achieve a slow rate of loss that your body was designed to accept.
      Base it on your own knowledge of yourself and past experience,) then
    2. Maintain that lifestyle and rate of loss until your long term goal has been achieved,
      and finally,
    3. Live the new healthy lifestyle that got you there permanently.

Only use diets and exercise programs that you can maintain as part of your future life.
Some of you will be able to go faster and we encourage you to do that if you can without feeling heavy hunger reaction.These reactions signal you are hitting the your famine response.

Most of you will feel some low levels of hunger that you can deal with as along as you do not exceed a realistic weight loss rate.

Listen to your body and do what it tells you it will let you.


Use a 9” salad plate to serve all your main meals when possible so your mind sees a fuller plate. This will reduce your portion size to nearer what you need and you should find you will still feel satisfied.

You should be able to reduce all your portion sizes by 1/3. If you are not losing weight after one week simply reduce the portions of food you would normally put on your plate by 1/3 again.
Salad Plate Size

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