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August 19, 2018: Portion Control

My weekly Get Your Stuff Together Sunday email series gives you one actionable focus for the week that will make your life a little easier.

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“Portion distortion” is a big problem for us when it comes to restaurant food and what we make at home. This week, we’re talking about portion control and how you can recalibrate what looks like a “normal” amount to eat.

Portion vs. Serving

A portion is the amount of a food you choose to eat at one time. That would be what you pour into a bowl or the total amount of chips you’ve mindlessly eaten from the bag. A potion may be more or less than a serving. A serving is the amount of food recommended on nutrition labels and in food guidance. We need to pay attention to our portions because we might underestimate what we consume and overeat without meaning to.

Portion distortion

Restaurant portions are often huge because that communicates value for your money. We get used to the large portion sizes and tend to have trouble with portion sizes at home, too. According to, “the size of dinner plates, muffin tins, and pizza pans have grown” and “cars have larger cup holders to accommodate the drink sizes stores sell.” We have trouble gauging what is a normal portion of food and that has major effects on our weight management and calorie consumption.

Here’s an example from


The NIH has a portion distortion quiz for you to test your knowledge here.

Simple portion control tricks

  • Repackage super-sized bags into portioned containers like sandwich bags
  • Never eat straight from the package
  • Share a meal with a friend when out
  • Use a smaller plate/bowl/glass
  • Beware the health halos like “low-fat,” “gluten free,” and “organic” because if we think a food is healthy, we tend to overeat it
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV or while you are busy with other activities

The Food Network has a good list of visual guides for portion sizes. Also, this is an excellent website about healthy portions from the NIH.

Next Sunday, we’ll talk about the importance of Vitamin D and the different ways you can get enough - even after Summer ends.

Do you have a friend who could stand to G(her)ST? Feel free to forward this!

I hope you have a wonderful week,


Kelly Morgan, Ph.D.

Tsirona -

My weekly GYSTS email give you one actionable thing to do for the week that will make you life a little easier. As "they" say, "Fail to plan; plan to fail." Get these emails (and more!) delivered right to your inbox by clicking HERE.