How to Portion Control to Lose Fat

Learning how to portion control to lose fat isn’t as difficult as you may think, but there’s a lot of information out there that can convolute the simplicity of the method. We’re here to clear things up. 

Keep reading.

Anyone can portion control, no matter their dietary preference — meat-etarian, vegetarian or whatever-etarian; portion control is a universal fit. So if you’re looking to lose fat with little sweat equity that actually works, it’s time you read up on portion control.

Portion Control (In a Nutshell)

Although portion control is rather self-explanatory, the central point is understanding the correct amount of food per meal to avoid overeating. This goes beyond passing on the supersized serving of fries. And more about restructuring the “dinner plate” so that you eat enough of the right calories to leave you feeling satiated but at enough of a deficit so that you lose weight.

Our collection of nutrition guides will help you make portion control a breeze. We have guides for vegans, low-carb lifestyles, intermittent fasting and more. You can check out our collection of guides now. Psst: they’re also on sale! Check ‘em out



The Skinny on Portion Sizing

The most reliable of all the so-called “tips & tricks” when it comes to portion controlling like a champion is — portion sizing. We know, it sounds ominous but we can assure you, it’s not all that complicated once you get the hang of it. Just think of it as a high school math refresher course, except what you’re learning is actually useful.

When it comes to portion sizing there are two things you’re going to do a lot of:

  • Dividing your plate into the building blocks of healthy eating (protein, vegetables, carbs and healthy fats) and,
  • Estimating the portion for each.

Of course, there will be sticky situations when you can’t physically divide your meal so here are a few pointers to make things a little easier: 

  • For “the undividable” (pizza, lasagna, sandwiches): before you dive into that pizza eat a whole serving of raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli and cucumbers. This will help to fill you up on the good stuff before you go carb wild. As for how much to eat, treat your slice quota the same as your protein (see below). So for a man that could be 1-2 servings which could be the same as 1-2 slices and half that for a woman.
  • For “the bowl” or mixed foods (soup, stirfry): this is where food prep comes in handy. Bulk meals are excellent, all you have to do is portion out all your ingredients prior to cooking. An example of this is for chicken stirfry if you’re making 4 servings then you need 4x the chicken to meet your protein portion control quota. 

Divvying Up Your Plate

The first step to good health is understanding the foundation of proper nutrition. If you need to brush-up on nutrition or want to eat like us here at BodyRock, check out our BodyRock Meal Plan and Nutritional eBook Bundle. The key to a thriving body is knowing what foods fuel it:

    • Protein: is responsible for creating and repairing damaged tissue and warding off infections. Protein can come from animal sources (poultry, beef, pork, fish), animal by-products (eggs, dairy) or plant sources (seeds, nuts, beans). If you’re interested in learning more about transitioning to a plant-based diet grab a copy of our BodyRock Plant-Based Vegan Guide.
  • Carbs: are what power your body; giving you the energy to get up and go. If you’re distancing yourself from carbs, have gluten intolerances or you’re just looking for another snappy way to lose weight, check out our BodyRock Low-Carb Lifestyle eBook.


  • Vegetables: Technically produce is labeled a carb but like a tomato being called a fruit even though most of us call it a vegetable, we’re going to give veggies their due as they are HUGELY important to your overall health. Eating your veggies is like taking nature’s multivitamin so don’t skimp on the broccoli.
  • Starch & Fruit: We’re not talking about Doritos (sorry), we mean grains like quinoa, sweet potatoes or whole grains. Healthy starches like carbs are excellent for your health and rich in fiber, B-vitamins and iron. And of course, who could forget about the tasty nutrient-dense fruits?
  • Healthy Fats: healthy or essential fatty acids are not made by the body and need to be supplemented via diet to maintain good health. Fats play a number of different roles such as: giving us energy, increasing nutrient absorption as well as aids in bodily functions. It’s easy to get confused about fats so here’s your cheat sheet: 
  • Avoid or Limit: saturated (butter, animal fat) and trans fats (microwave popcorn, margarine).
  • Choose: Monounsaturated (olive oil, avocado) and Polyunsaturated Fats (fatty fish or soybean). 

  • Estimating Portion Sizes

    Now for some meal planning magic — time to build your plate. Forget investing in a scale or an app, it’s costly and unsustainable when all you need is your hand. Confused? Don’t be, here’s how:

    • Protein: your palm = 1 serving 

      • Whatever your protein preference, it should fit in your palm. As for meat, it should also be the thickness of your hand. If you’re quite active or building muscle increasing your protein intake could be something to consider.
      • E.g., chicken, tofu, black beans or salmon.
    • Vegetables (raw): your fist = 1 serving
      • Here at BodyRock we really like our vegetables so we encourage men to eat 2+ fistfuls of veg and women to eat 1+. Filling up on vegetables will also help you to eat less so basically, if you make veggies half your plate there’s nothing wrong with that!
      • E.g., broccoli, carrots, squash or lettuce. 
    • Carbs (Starch & Fruit): your cupped hand = 1 serving
      • Ideally, women should eat 1 hand cupped per meal, double that for men. Another important thing to note is, ‘handfuls’ are for fruit or cooked carbs (think wild rice), it’s roughly half that for uncooked carbohydrates (like pasta).  
      • E.g., apple, avocado, whole grains or sweet potatoes.
    • Healthy Fats: your thumb = 1 serving

      • When we say thumb, we mean the length of your thumb. Men should consume two-thumbs-up of healthy fats per meal and one-thumb-up for women.
      • E.g., butters, oils, seeds, nuts or nut butters.

    Additional Portion Control Tips & Tricks

    Google portion control and everybody and their uncle has something to say about how best to do it. The one thing we know is that using your hands really is the best way to portion control but if you’re looking for that cherry topper to really help you see results here are some other useful tips and tricks that actually work. 

     

  • Smaller Dishware: Our brains are hardwired to eat what’s in front of us — supersized or miniaturized. Turns out we subconsciously use our plates to gauge how much to portion out, so outsmart yourself and use smaller bowls and plates.
  • Use Portion Control Dishware: Take the first tip a step further and go beyond the call of duty and pick up portion control dishes or use what you’ve got on hand. Repurpose a takeaway container or simply use Tupperware containers. The aim is the largest section should house your veg and the two additional container sizes are reserved for protein and carbs. Your fats should be able to fit in the tiniest snack Tupperware container they make.
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  • Drink Water Beforehand: Water is filling, so before you take a seat to eat your meal or while you’re preparing your meal down a glass of water. Aim for half an hour before eating.
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  • Meal Planning: If you’re bulk cooking, divvy up a few extra meals. Freeze leftover soup or spaghetti sauce or even separate your box of pasta into single-servings. This also goes for eating out, restaurants tend to give us too much so doggy-bag half before you start eating and you’ve got lunch tomorrow in the bag.

    Remember: our nutrition guides are on sale. Get a handle on your portion control and grab one today. 
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    Portion Control to Lose Fat

    Losing weight can sometimes feel like a herculean effort but portion control in conjunction with exercising and eating healthy can help you meet your goals without overhauling the way you eat (one of the reasons diets fail).

    Portion control doesn’t require you to give up or limit foods (although we encourage picking healthy options) but instead just change the layout of your plate. It’s not time-consuming, doesn’t break the bank, and is subject to whatever dietary preference you’re into. So really, if you’re looking to burn fat it’s time to get hands-on and portion control your way to success. 


    Portion Control for Fat Loss Playlist

    Try these mouthwatering recipes on BR+ and make portion control for fat loss even easier. And by easier, we mean delicious. Sign up for a free trial of dozens of recipes and thousands of workouts on BR+. 

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    Individual Links:

    BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

    Fruit & Walnut Spinach Salad

    Potato Salad

    Coconut Chickpea Curry

    Rosemary Steak with White Bean Mash

    Simple Homemade Pizza

    Lettuce Leaf Tacos

    Chocolate Coconut Protein Balls

    Avocado Chipotle Feta Wraps

    Quentin Tartinos