A Little Help With Portion Control

I believe that one of the pillars of successful weight loss and weight control is portion size. Our portions, both at home and when we eat out, have become huge. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as our portions have gotten larger, our country has gotten more overweight.

I saw a new tool today that helps with controlling portion size, and I wanted to tell you all about it.

It’s called Portionpal, and despite a kind of cheesy name, it’s a pretty cool little gizmo. It’s designed to help you learn the correct portion size for 5 different foods: meat, chicken, fish, side dishes and dessert (and I do hope that dessert is the one you eat the least). It consists of 5 different discs made of silicone, 1 disc for each of the 5 foods. You simply use the discs as a cutting board by placing your food on the appropriate disc, then cutting around the printed outline to get the correct portion size. Pretty simple, huh?

I do want to be clear that I have not yet tried Portionpal yet, but for less than $18 bucks (+ tax and shipping) I figure it’s worth trying; I’ve ordered it and do honestly think it will be very helpful.

One word of caution if you go to the website: as soon as you land on the home page, you get assaulted with music. I don’t know about you, but personally, I do not like to have of music forced on me on websites. Thankfully, the webmaster has a button about half way down the page that allows you to turn off the music. So if you don’t like “Thank you for being a Friend”, you can turn it off fairly quickly. And please don’t let the music drive you from the page without checking out the site.

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9 Responses to “A Little Help With Portion Control”

  1. Kery Says:

    I haven’t tried that tool, but I say: whatever works for people to help them lose weight is worth being used (provided it’s safe and ‘legal’, so to say). 🙂

    Most weightloss-related websites/blogs I visit seem to be written by people in the USA, and I agree that portion control, from what I’ve seen and was told, is truly out of whack in many regards, at least if I compare with what we have in my country (although France, alas, is starting to slowly catch up >grumbles>). So it really makes sense to craft tools to help people cope with that, and get reacquainted with what normal portions are.

    I’ll check the PortionPal website later on anyway. I’m curious about it.

  2. S William Shaw Says:

    I’m not a big fan of website music. Nor am I a big fan of “Thank you for being a friend.” 😉

  3. Sandy Says:

    I read somewhere talking about how to control your portions…they say the easiest way is to get smaller plates. Sounds simple huh? Apprently, if you have a big plate you will just pile it on and plate size is larger today than they used to be years ago.

    The idea is you fill up your (smaller) plate by putting 1/3 of this, 1/3 of that and so on…I cannot remember the exact plate size that you should use though. I can say I do have 2 different size plate sets…one is signifcantly smaller than the other (yes, I am talking about one set of DINNER plates being smaller than the other, not talking about salad plates or saucers)…so I make sure to use the smaller plate for myself.

    For me, that is a whole lot easier to gauge how much I am eating and should eat just by looking at my (small) plate.

    Might be able to look that up on the internet…

    On a side note…as far as meat is concerned I think that the correct portion of meat is about the size of the palm of your hand. This includes steaks, chicken and pork. I remember this only because every time we go to the steakhouse close to us the steaks are usually the size of THREE of my hands (!!!) and I always get the chicken which is TWO butterfly breasts (I always take one home for lunch the next day) which is about FOUR of my hands.

  4. kitty Says:

    The last paragraph of your post rang true for me – I think weight watchers advises the same, to use your fist as a guide.

    I’d have trouble laying down $18 for disks.
    It’s really the discipline of the smaller portions rather than the disks, that I need!

  5. Tammy Says:

    I agree on the portion control being a real problem for me – I’ve learn that the ratio should be 1/2 of your plate be vegetables or fruits and vegetables with the other half broken into 1/4 for meat or protein – the other quarter being carb, like potato or rice etc.

    I’ve seen the portion pals and I think they are cool 🙂

    As for music – I keep the sound of my computer and turn it up when I want to listen. This keeps me from being assaulted by music or chatter when I hit a website.

    P.S. Brian – as a regular reader (every day at least) I chose you to be “tagged” over on my blog

  6. loseweightwithme Says:

    KERY – I’ve recently read that heart disease is on the uprise in France – do you find this to be true?

    S WILLIAM — LOL…I’m with ya on that!

    SANDY — GREAT response…thanks for contributing!

    KITTY — Wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend $18 and buy the discipline? 🙂

    TAMMY — I use the “2/3s Rule” with my plate…2/3s covered with veggies and/or fruit. Thanks for tagging me…I’ll respond a little later! 🙂

    Brian

  7. Kery Says:

    From personal experience, I don’t know, but overall, if I can believe what I read in the news, I think it’s still the first cause of mortality in our country, and yes, our living conditions aren’t helping to thwart that tendency the least bit.

    I know lots of people will emphasize the whole “French people don’t get fat even though they eat a lot” stuff, but really, that’s slowly veering towards becoming a myth. People who work also have 30-60 minutes at the most to eat (no ‘peaceful lunches’ that last for two hours, heh), there are McDonald’s everywhere, even in small 15,000 inhabitants towns, we tend to eat more and more processed foods, we take the car to go 500 m, and obesity is on the rise as well. The phenomenon is just less important than in other countries yet, but the way I see things, it’s not about to change for the best. Although our towns are usually quite pedestrians-friendly, so at least it’s good to walk a lot and use our bikes.

    And I’ve just shot down the good ole French myth, I think. :p

  8. Tina Says:

    The cool thing about portionpals is that they also double as cutting boards. My friend bought them 2 weeks ago and I liked so I bought them as well. As far as “discipline” goes. If it was that easy to do yourself, we wouldn’t all (well most of us:-) be overweight. I like the idea and recommend.

  9. loseweightwithme Says:

    Hey, Tina — thanks for sharing your experience and giving us your recommendation about the Portionpals!

    Brian

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