Portion control calls for limiting the amount of food on your plate, and is a more practical option for dieters than following complicated diets that call for major lifestyle adjustments. 

Measuring your intake of food, or practicing portion control probably seems a tedious task at first. But this is practical and sure way of losing weight, and maintaining the loss. The biggest advantage of controlling portions VS dieting is that you can eat almost any healthy food in sight, as long as you keep an eye on the amount.

Include all food groups

Just remember to eat small portions of items from all food groups and not to overindulge in any single food, even if its health benefits are unparalleled. Too much of a good thing can be bad! Also, do keep your food requirements in mind. These are based on age, body type, gender, etc. and cut your portions down accordingly.

In an ideal world, the best way to figure out the right portion, is to weigh it. But since carrying a weighing scale around with you is impractical, you must learn how to “eyeball” the correct portion sizes. This habit will prevent both overeating and under eating.

Rough estimate can work

Eyeballing is a simple way of comparing portions of food to common and familiar objects, such as a tennis ball, or a pack of cards. The most effective way to measure packaged food is to take it out of its packaging, place the contents on a plate, and then figure out the right portion.

For reference

½ cup = 1 cupped hand

1 cup = 2 cupped hands

100g of meat = the palm of the hand or a deck of cards

1 medium fruit/potato = the size of a light bulb

Common Food Swaps

Substituting one type of food for another, and practicing portion control, within the same food group is easy enough. But you also need to learn how much pasta you can eat in place of a roti, or how much rice can be substituted for one idli.  The table below serves as a guide for common foods:

Cereals and Grain 1 chapati/ tortilla = 1 slice bread= ½ cup of cooked rice/ cooked pasta = 3 cups of popcorn = 1 medium potato = 2-3 biscuits = ½ cup boiled corn = 1 idli = 1 medium plain dosa = 1 cup dry/ ready-to-eat cereal
Dairy 1 cup milk= 1 cup yogurt/ curd= 45 g paneer = 35 g processed cheese = 2 cheese slices
Fruits 1 medium fruit = 1 cup fresh/frozen/canned fruit, ¼cup dry fruit = ½ cup fruit juice, 1 ½ cup high-water content fruit (watermelon)
Vegetables ½ cup raw/cooked veg = 1 cup leafy veg = ½ cup veg soup
Lentils and Meats 1 egg= ¼ cup paneer = ½ cup dal/beans = ¼ cup uncooked lentils = 50 g meat/fish/poultry = 1-2 tbsp peanut butter = 15-30g seeds and nuts