Sneaky Tricks to Decrease Portions

Yellow measure tape - belt and a stack of white plates. 3d illustration

Our portions have increased dramatically since the 1970’s … and so has the size of our bellies. You need to cut back on portion sizes in order to lose weight. Easier said than done! No one wants to eat bird like portions of food or feel deprived. You’ll need to find a way to trick your brain and stomach into thinking you are eating more than you really are. Check out my sneaky tips to cut portions without feeling deprived.


Sneaky tricks to decrease portions

  1. Use smaller plates, cups and utensils.  Studies have shown that this can decrease your caloric intake by 20% or more.
    – Larger plates lead to more food being consumed.  The average size of a dinner plate in the 1950’s was 9 inches across. By the 80’s it had grown to 11 inches and today the average dinner plate is a whopping 13 inches. Our bellies have been growing along with the plate size. So instead of 12” dinner plates, use 10”. This can lead to 22% fewer calories being consumed … and an 18 pound weight loss a year! Check out the Small Plate Movement.
    – Use smaller cereal bowls and smaller bowls for pasta.
    – Use a little tea cup for your ice cream … instead of a mug or large bowl.
    – Use smaller glasses. 5 oz of wine poured into a small white wine glass looks like a lot more than the same amount poured into a jumbo red wine glass. Your brain will be satisfied with less wine. (see pic of a massive wine glass!)
    – Try using smaller eating utensils. Smaller forks or spoons mean picking up less food at a time. You may even want to try eating with chopsticks.  It is difficult to shovel  in food that way. If you really want to go nuts, try using child silverware (in the privacy of your home).
  2. Starting your meal with a soup or salad can help you consume 20% fewer calories at the meal. These foods can help to slow your rate of eating down so will realize that you are getting full and will ultimately consume less food at the meal. In addition, they are low in calories and will start to fill you up without the calories.
    – make sure your soup is low in calories – broth based soups are best. Recommendations: vegetable soup, miso soup, gazpatcho soup.
    – aside from helping to fill you up, vegetable soups are a good way to increase your intake of vegetables.
    – avoid calorie dense soups that contain cream
    – avoid fattening salads like Caesar, cobb or chef. And watch the salad dressings! Best bet – mixed greens with low cal dressing or a small amount of regular dressing
  3. Bulk up on veggies
    We are creatures of habit and like to eat a certain amount of food. Substituting low cal veggies for higher calorie starches and protein can help you substantially cut down on your caloric intake without feeling deprived. Tips to increase veggies:
    – Instead of 3 cups of pasta for dinner, have 1 cup mixed in with 2 cups of veggies. Add marinara sauce. One cup of cooked veggies is only 50 calories compared to one of pasta for over 200. So instead of a 700+ calorie meal, it is now ~ 300.
    – Trim your steak from 8 oz to 5 oz, and add 1 ½ cups of veggies. More volume, feel  fuller and save over 100 calories. Saving 100 calories a day leads to a 10 pound weight loss a year.- Instead of having 2 cups of chili, have one. Then mix it in with one cup of veggies (carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, onions) Save 200 calories.

Try some of these tips to cut back on portion sizes. And the best part is – you won’t even know you are doing it!


Check out my other video on tips to decrease portions to help you lose weight.



I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.

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