8 Tips to Make Portion Control Easy & Satisfying

When it comes to overeating, it can make us feel unwell and regretful. Whether it be ‘healthy foods’ or fast foods, being able to successfully manage portions can feel impossible. Keep hope and use these 8 tips.

The importance of eating portions of food in personally appropriate amounts stems from supporting our immune, nervous, and digestive systems. The neurotransmitters produced in the gut correlate with emotional stability, our immunity functions better and issues around peristalsis improve drastically leading to a sense of contentment.

#1 Stop trying to control

Did you know that companies invest in making foods that stimulate you to eat more and more and more?  Specific ratios of sweetness, greasiness and saltiness have been studied and tested extensively to override your ability to stop. Trying to control the amount of processed foods you eat is a losing battle.

So what does it mean to stop trying to control? Does it mean to give in and eat as much as possible?  No. It means to stop struggling, do not start. Do not purchase the foods that delight your senses for flash moments, comforting an aching soul, masking loneliness, and easing into a state of disassociated reality.

Food can seem to easily fill that void but only temporarily. Akin to any addiction or addictive behaviour, dealing with persistent emotions and facing a journey of recovery with others can make the biggest impact. Fellowships like OA provide free peer support from those who have experienced the same compulsive habits and have been able to find relief and live peaceably with food.

Ultimately, your greatest ally in succeeding comes by being present to your food.  We can examine this more closely in tip #4.

#2 Avoid buffets

Buffets can be a major temptation. Plate after plate can be filled with a selection of all kinds of delectable foods! However, because so much is being made, quality is often spared for quantity. The price, too, can feel like a motivating factor to eat as much as possible ‘to get your money’s worth’. If there’s a menu to order from, try that because restraint may fall by the wayside.

#3 Request half your meal be made to go

Restaurant servings can easily cover two meals. When you see the entire meal presented before you, the idiom ‘The eye is bigger than the belly” makes a lot of sense.

I often bring a glass food container with me to pack away my food and not use styrofoam.  

#4 Chew!

What a magnificent machine our teeth and jaw are! Chewing food makes digestion a symphony rather than a cacophony. The 30 Day 30 Chew Challenge is a great way to get started on making one of the biggest health impacts you can do for yourself!

#5 Eat Vegetables, Proteins, & Carbs – In that Order

When able, eat your vegetables first. 

Eat your protein second.

Fat and carbohyrdates third. 

The purpose of eating in this order is to help manage blood sugar levels.  Keep it simple -if you have a meal all mixed up… enjoy it! Just be sure to chew!

#6 Supplements

Here are some supplements to consider to assist you in your goals:

Fibre – This low-energy food can help to expand the stomach, signalling hormonal production of leptin, the hormone responsible for feeling full (the reason for eating vegetables first). This can help support cholesterol levels and blood sugar balance. PGx, psyllium husks, and flax seed crackers are a few examples of fibre.

Herbs – Gymnema sylvestre, EGCg, nettle leaf tea, milky oats – each of these herbs works in different ways. Nettle nourishes, milky oats calm the nervous system, EGCg has excellent antioxidants and helps to increase energy and Gymnema sylvestre can aid in diminishing sugar cravings. 

Omega 3s & Multivitamins – Provide the body with the nutrients it needs and your body can function better.

 #7 Avoid Skipping Meals & Have Light Snacks

Ever get so hungry you feel like you could eat a house? Your body wants to communicate clearly with you. If you feel intense hunger, you might want to check your blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar from repeated skipping of meals can create a vicious cycle.

For those who do intermittent fasting, it could be worth assessing the sense of eating one or two large meals and the effects on the stomach.

Light snacks can include a variety of foods eaten in small portions; half of a protein bar, nuts and seeds, fruit and a slice of cheese, protein and avocado smoothie, and so on.

#8 Sleep, Water & Exercise

Okay, this could be viewed as three separate points, but they make up the foundation of good health. Without adequate sleep, hormonal signalling can seem to go a bit haywire, causing hunger. Thirst can easily get misinterpreted as hunger. Exercise; when starting a new exercise regime, expect your hunger to go up and choose a well-rounded protein, fibre, and healthy fats snack to abate those pangs. 


Nicole Reilkoff ND

Nicole Reilkoff ND

Nicole Reilkoff certified Naturopath and reflexologist, offers her professional bilingual, services from the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex situated in Montréal.




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