Is Portion Control a “Diet”?

by | Oct 19, 2011 | Health Habits, Nutrition Support, Uncategorized

To answer this question, let us understand both terms “portion control” and “diet”.

Portion control is controlling the quantum of food we eat at one time. Whereas the term “diet” refers to controlling the time, quantity, quality and type of food we eat. Portion control is therefore a subset of diet i.e. diet not only encompasses portion control, it includes exercises and sleep as well. Diet covers your entire lifestyle.

A food portion refers to the quantity of a particular type of food you should eat in a meal.

Dietitians will inform you that you should aim to eat no more and no less than the required quantity of food per meal. Here are a few examples of food and their portion size per meal based on ‘MyPlate’ i.e. USDA recommendation:

  • Milk or Yogurt – one cup
  • Proteins (meat, poultry, fish) – roughly the size and thickness of an audio cassette tape
  • Fruit – about the size of a tennis ball
  • Grains – one cup (cooked)
  • Vegetables – one-and-half cup (cooked) or two cups salad

Knowing the meaning of food portion, we have to say that portion control refers to eating the right quantity of food and no more or no less

i.e., control over the quantity of food we eat. When we have our meals at a dining table, food is normally kept in the center of the table and we take whatever quantity we need onto our plate. This leads to us having either more or less of a particular food item. For example, if we love prawns or fish, we might help ourselves to a plateful of prawns or an entire large grilled fish. If we do not like Spinach or vegetables, we might not take it at all.

Therefore, if we exercised portion control, we would only take two tablespoonfuls of prawns (or a two-inch piece of fish) and no more of that particular food group (proteins). Similarly, we could consume no more than one cup of yogurt or milk and not the entire tub or carton of milk.

Portion control therefore deals with quantity of a particular food group or groups and nothing else.

The latest trend and one that is approved by USDA, dietitians and nutritionists is to combine portion control with diet.

USDA therefore came up with the concept of “MyPlate”. The idea is to eat the right foods in the right quantities. To help you put this into practice, many companies have come up with a delightful tool called the portion control plates. Only few of them have the whole system – plates, bowls, glasses, spoons and other tools.

A well-designed portion control plate is discreetly demarcated into three (and sometimes four) parts –one each for grains, vegetables, proteins and fruits. Dairy products are in a separate glass or bowl.

You should try the first dietitian-designed, porcelain portion control dinnerware system.

Yes, the first. Long before the new USDA guidelines and MyPlate icon were announced, we at Precise Portions already had started our line of portion control dinnerware. Made from chip resistant porcelain china, these are an exquisite set, beautifully designed and have very discreet markings.

You don’t get just a plate, you get the whole system in the package –

plates, bowls, glasses, scooper, menu planning worksheets, healthy eating guide and even email support series for 24 months after purchase. Different product combinations available in our store.