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How to Eat Smaller Portions Without Feeling Deprived

by | Nutrition

“If only I could eat smaller portions then I wouldn’t be so overweight!

I’ve heard this a million times.

Food is so tasty, it’s hard to stop sometimes, isn’t it?

Yes, but it doesn’t always have to be so difficult.

Eating smaller portions doesn’t mean having a few lettuce leaves and calling it a meal.

Actually, by making a few swaps and small changes you can reel in the super-sized portions and even better news…

…you don’t always have to eat tiny portions to lose weight!

Today, I’m going to dive into some tips to help you get just the right size portions without feeling deprived, restricted, or hungry after your meal.

#1 – The One Plate Rule

Yep, this one sounds pretty much like what it is.

The trick here is to load up your plate only once.

You’ll be more mindful about the foods you choose.

And by having a simple rule it will keep you from going back for seconds or picking at foods, especially at parties and events.

#2 – Use A Smaller Plate

There’s research that shows using a smaller plate helps you to eat less.

You will take less and feel like you ate more.

Double win!

So get rid of those giant plates and opt for a small one instead.

#3 – Have Protein, Fat, and Veggie At Every Meal

How many times have you overeaten pasta, cookies, chips or bread?

Probably more times than you can count, am I right?

How many times have you overeaten a big salad with chicken breast, avocado, and an olive oil dressing?

Probably never.

There’s a reason for that.

Having a balanced meal with protein, fat, and veggies leaves you feeling fuller so you tend to avoid going back for seconds and thirds.

It also lasts longer keeping you from mindlessly munching throughout the day.

You naturally eat less calories without even trying or feeling deprived!

#4 – Drink Lots of Water, Especially With Your Meals

Add bonus points if you have water with lemon before your meal as it will aid in digestion!

By drinking more water you’ll feel fuller from your meal and eat less.

Also, many times you’re hungry you may just be thirsty.

And we all know we need to drink more water anyways!

#5 – Limit Processed Foods

There’s a reason you could drink a gallon of soda and not feel like you just downed 5 million calories.

Empty calories lack nutrition leading you to cravings and hunger to signal your body to get the nutrients you didn’t get in the first place.

Highly processed sugary and junk foods also don’t have the fill factor like protein, fats, veggies and even healthy fibrous carbs like sweet potatoes or fruit have.

They are just WAAAAY to easy to overeat.

Like I said before, you’re not likely to overeat whole foods like a dinner of salmon with a side of sweet potato and veggies.

Seriously…I dare you to try!

#6 – Add Soup or Salad Before a Meal

Skip the tortilla chips or bread and have a soup or salad before your meal.

Refer back to #3 and #5 if you’re not sure why.

Also, research has shown that you eat less when you start your meal this way.

#7 – Eat Slowly and Stop When You’re 80% Full

Back in college I used to guzzle down my food.

I was always in a hurry.

And because I ate so fast I would often overeat.

So, slow down and enjoy your food.

As they say, “savor the flavor” and you’ll naturally eat less.

You’ll also give yourself time to register when you’re actually getting full so you can stop when you’re about 80% full rather than ending up overly stuffed.

Knocking off a few hundred calories off each meal can really add up in the long run!

# 8 – Absolutely Do Not Eat Out of Containers or Bags

Ok, so you open a bag of chips or a tub of nuts and start eating.

What happens?

Oh yeah, lots and lots of servings get ingested before you even realize it.

It’s hard to control what you’re eating when you’re mindless dipping into a never-ending bag of munchies.

Not to mention, we aren’t the best judges of how much we eat.

We tend to underestimate how much we actually eat in one sitting…

…and so we tend to overeat.

So your best bet is to portion out an individual serving.

It’s like making your own 100-calorie snack pack.

Those things work for a reason!

# 9 – Read Those Labels

Never trust those fancy labels that claim a product is healthy.

Low fat often means high in sugar.

Low sugar means lots of added chemicals and artificial sweeteners.

And many times something that’s made to look like a single serving, is really 2 or 3.

How misleading!

So read labels on the foods you buy.

Be a detective and investigate what an actual serving is.

Your best bet is to limit using foods in a bag, can or box as much as possible so you don’t even have to worry about all that misleading marketing.

So what’s your favorite way to try and eat smaller portions?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

Share Your Thoughts


  1. Callie

    The best way i portion control is called two hand rule. I have a meat and a vegetable or lean meat vegetable and a carb and they have to fit under my hands when pressed together side by side with my thumb tucked under. A small plate helps as well.

    • Becky Fox

      Yes love this Callie!! I love using the hands for portions. It’s so much easier than trying to weigh and measure everything. Thanks so much for sharing!


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I’m Becky Fox

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