Portion Control 101: How Not To Overeat

You eat soooo well. I’m talking chia seeds with breakfast, kale with lunch and organic, grass fed meat with dinner. But, for some reason you either aren’t losing the weight you want, or perhaps now that you’re eating all these ‘superfoods’ you’ve actually put on weight.

Well, one of the reasons for this, and a topic that I often get asked about a lot, could be portion sizes. While I’m not a calorie counter, and nor should you be, there are certain guidelines to building the right sized meal.

These recommendations are for an average male and female who are not overly active. If you were more active, you would likely need to be adding a bit more protein & healthy carbs to your diet.


The protein serving, unless it is a powder, should be the approximate size of one palm for females, and two palms for males.

Non-Starchy Vegetables

A non-starchy vegetable is usually green. Starchy vegetables include things like yams, potatoes, carrots, beets, turnip. For the non-starchy vegetables, a general recommendation is two full fists for females, and four for males.

Complex, Low Glycemic Carbohydrates

This could be a starchy vegetable, or something like quinoa, brown rice, millet, or oatmeal, and a cupped hand is a good size for females, or two cupped hands for males. Remember that white potatoes and other white starches can spike your blood sugar more than table sugar, so I’d recommend to stay away from those.

Healthy Fats

A healthy fat is a non-processed, pure form of fat that ideally hasn’t been heated. The approximate serving size is one thumb size for females and two thumbs for males.  Always try to get some Omega 3s in there, from flax, chia or hemp hearts.

Want Seconds?

A great way to really decide if you want seconds is to have more of the vegetables. If it’s only the vegetables you’d eat, do you still really want seconds?

Other Tips

Some other tips to keep you on track, portion wise:

  • Only eat when you’re hungry
  • Try to stick to an eating and sleeping routine (this helps with hormones, and hormonal imbalances can be hindering your weight-loss)
  • Chew slowly
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat at an ‘eating’ location, not at your desk, on the couch or on the go
  • Listen to your body. Are you truly hungry or actually craving something? Read all about cravings in this post here.

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