Here’s Exactly How Big Your Portions Should Be


In the last two decades, have you noticed that portions have steadily increased?

Back in the 90s a standard Mars Bar weighed in at 53g, it’s now ballooned to a king-sized 80g and contains more calories than a MacDonald’s Cheeseburger.

600ml bottles of soft drink seem to be the only choice at servos; that’s over half a litre of liquid kilojoules!

Also read: Eating These 11 Foods will Help Stop Cravings

How can we control how much we are eating in a world where portion sizes just seem to grow larger?

A good place to start is in your own home by physically measuring out and carefully plating the foods that you prepare.

Your Guide to Portion Sizes


Tips to Control Your Portions

Use a small plate

Your meal will fill most of a small plate, creating the sense you are eating a bigger portion.

Serve meals

Serve the meal on plates in the kitchen, rather than placing tempting platters of food on the dining table, allowing access to second helpings.  Getting up from the table for another helping can act as a deterrent.

Eat slowly

Take time to eat your meal, place your cutlery down between bites and chew your food slowly. When we eat quickly we do not give our body time to register we have eaten. All too often, we can tuck into second helpings only to find halfway through that we are already full.

Skip the entrée

Try and skip entrée and order only a main meal when eating out. Alternatively, you could try ordering two entrées if others at your table order more than one course. Two entrée sized portions helps to control volume but enables you to eat at the same time as everybody else.

Have a snack shortly before you go out for a meal.

A healthy snack will help to keep hunger at bay while reading the menu – increasing the likelihood of choosing a healthy choice instead of being influenced by being hungry.

Do not finish everything on the plate

It is OK, despite what our mothers may have told us, to leave a little on the plate. Often restaurants provide generous servings, so eat slowly and stop when you are full. Do not keep eating just because the food is on the plate in front of you.

Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu
Lisa is the Lead Dietitian for 12WBT. With a Masters in Nutrition & Dietietics as well as a Bachelor of Education, Lisa is keen to help all 12 Weekers understand how to achieve health for life. Lisa studied Sports Dietetics at the Australian Institute of Sport and has a keen interest in gastrointestinal health. A highly regarded communicator, Lisa is a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, the ‘Dietitian in Residence’ at the University of Canberra and a lecturer at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She has also been an expert on ABC Television’s Ask the Dr Series.

    You may also like

    Comments are closed.

    More in Nutrition