About Calories and Portion Control

There are many ways to lose a lot of weight fast. However, most of them will make you hungry and unsatisfied. Cutting calories is not always easy, but quick wins can be achieved by reducing portion sizes and eating fewer high fat and sugar containing foods such as cakes, savoury snacks, confectionery, processed meats and takeaways.


To help identify changes you can make to your own diet, keep a food diary over a typical week and then assess what changes can realistically be made. Check out our factsheet on successful weight loss.

Try our tips for reducing portion size

  • use a smaller plate, bowl, glass
  • use standard spoon sizes to portion out your food
  • take photos of  your current portion sizes and check to make sure your portion sizes don’t creep back up
  • aim to leave the table feeling satisfied but not bloated
  • concentrate on eating, try not to be distracted whilst you eat by the TV or computer
  • divide your plate into 4 – you meat or fish portion should cover no more than a quarter of the plate, the same for the starchy part of your meal (potato, bread, pasta, rice, cous cous etc)
  • fill half of your plate with vegetables
  • Your meat portion should not be bigger than a pack of cards
  • Your fish portion no bigger than a cheque book
  • Limit hard cheese to no bigger than the smallest match box

Portion control is more than just an important part of meal planning, it’s also essential to losing weight. In order to lose weight you must create a calorie deficit, meaning that you must burn more calories than you consume. Learning what is the correct amount or knowing how much to consume is easier when food has a label that indicates serving sizes, and has nutrition information. But what can you do to measure out the proper portions when you don’t have a label? Here are some easy tricks you can use to help you achieve your weight loss goals without any labels.