Tips to reduce your portion sizes

Did you know eating an extra 100 calories a day can lead to weight gain of 4.5kg (10lb) a year? Watching your portion sizes is a great way to prevent this. Whether you are eating in, eating out or food shopping, we have tips and advice to help you get your portion sizes right.

Eating in

  • Eat slowly
  • Use a smaller plate
  • Fill half of your dinner plate with vegetables or salad
  • Instead of eating from a large packet, serve a single portion into a bowl.
  • Serve food on individual plates to avoid second helpings
  • Freeze or chill left-overs right away so you are not tempted to go back for more
  • Avoid eating while watching TV as it’s easy to overeat when you are distracted.
  • If you enjoy a high calorie snack, have the on-pack serving size (e.g. one scoop of ice cream)
  • Alcohol contributes to calorie intake. If you enjoy an occasional glass of wine or beer have a small one rather than a large one, and be careful with your measures at home.

Eating out

  • If you order a high calorie food such as pizza or chips, order a small size
  • Order a half portion, have a starter as your main meal or split a dessert with a friend
  • Forget what your mother said. You don’t have to finish your plate. Ask for a "doggy bag" and take your leftovers home

Food shopping

  • Don’t buy the foods you tend to overeat
  • Make a list so you only buy what’s needed
  • Check the number of portions in pre-packaged foods – a pack may contain more than one portion
  • If you are buying treat foods buy snack sizes and only have one
  • Buy single portions "on the go" so you won’t be tempted by bigger pack sizes

Remember, children are smaller and don’t need adult-sized portions on their plates. Children and teenagers should be encouraged to try everything on their plate but be sure to let them decide when they have had enough – never force them to finish everything on their plate.

Recent research shows that one in three people say they find it difficult to manage portion sizes.