Your Meals
Quick view
Search for products on our site

can portion control stop calorie counting once and for all?

Are ''Americanised'' portions contributing to the UK's health problems...

Dietitian Mei explores the benefits controlling your portions sizes

Take home messages


  1. Portion control may help to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. 
  2. Controlling portion sizes is a great alternative (or addition) to calorie counting – takes away the extra task of tracking your food intake. 
  3. If you’re struggling with overeating or having a balanced diet, controlling your portions could be a simple yet effective approach  

Why does portion sizing matter? 


Portion control is a simple and popular method of managing weight and promoting a healthy lifestyle.


Eating too much or too little may have a negative effect on your health and emotional wellbeing.


Eating the right servings of carbs, protein, fats and fibre can help you succeed with your health goals and nutrition nudges.  

What does the science say ?


  • Portion control helps to keep your calorie intake in check without needing to actually count them. It’s easier to overeat when you’re served large portions, as it’s difficult to judge how much you’ve eaten and if you’re full. 
  • It is not rocket science but it’s useful to be reminded that foods higher in calories, saturated fat, and refined sugar can be enjoyed in smaller portions (and less frequently). Eating too much of these nutrients can lead to health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, foods that are higher in fibre, protein, and slow-releases carbs should be eaten in relation to how much energy you use each day (please note, the specific intakes of these food groups are usually dependent on any pre-existing medical conditions). 
  • By controlling your portions, you’re better able to ensure that you’re not overdoing it on unhealthy ingredients. 
  • Controlling portions may be beneficial for people who have a tendency to overeat or struggle to stick to a healthy diet. 

Practical tips


  1. Eat portions that reflect your daily energy needs. For example, if you’re quite sedentary, you may not need half a plate of carbs but one quarter is enough as part of a meal. 
  2. Aim for one portion of protein with each meal 
  3. Aim for 1-2 large handfuls of veg (fibre) 
  4. Measure how much oils you’re adding to cooking and at mealtimes 
  5. Eating slowing and chewing each mouthful helps with satiety and portion control.

Final thoughts 


Research shows that portion control is an important part of healthy eating.


Not only can it help to keep your calorie intake in check, but it can also ensure that you’re getting the right nutrients and making your meals more enjoyable.


If you’re still thinking about a small, simple nutrition nudge, portion control is a great place to start. 

Mei Wan BSc (Hons), RD, MBDA

HCPC Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist

IG: @dietitian.mei


💬 need help? chat with our team
contact us