Portion Distortion

I won’t lie, this has happened on too many occasions to mention!


If we wish to ‘eat whatever we like’, we need to monitor portion size, to state the obvious. It’s all too easy to overeat. Even the most mindful and/or intuitive eaters succumb on occasion and while there’s certainly no harm in that, we shouldn’t make it a daily thing. I’m going to bear the following hacks in mind in my endeavours. They are all very commonsensical, but common sense being the rarity it is, it’s no harm to remind ourselves from time to time…

  • Rather than thinking in terms of exact measurements – I shudder to think about counting calories in extreme fashion and/or weighing food – I’m going to think about appropriate portions when I’m plating food by roughly adhering to the guidelines below. Have a look and think about how much larger our serving sizes tend to be…

For example, a restaurant/home serving of pasta is often more akin to 3-4 cups!


  • Here is another handy chart comparing appropriate portion sizes to household items:



  • Load half of your plate with colourful fruits and vegetables to make exercising restraint with the rest of the food groups a lot easier. The fibre and water contained in your rainbow foods will leave you feeling fuller for longer, not to mention replete in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Including protein and fats (hopefully of the healthy variety the majority of the time!) at each meal will also promote satiety.

  • Use modestly-sized delph and even cutlery! Considerable research shows larger utensils result in dishing out larger portions… Think of how much more wine you drink when you plump for the larger glass… Or how slowly you’d eat ice-cream were you using a teaspoon rather than a ginormous tablespoon.

Disclaimer: toy cutlery might prove a bridge too far! (Image via aliexpress.com)


  • Continue to indulge in your ‘trigger’ foods or you’ll only end up feeling aggrieved. Maybe buy your chocolate/crisps/biscuits/crackers in single-serving packets – it definitely helps me! Makeover your pizza – try a thin, wholegrain crust and load it with veggies and smaller portions (see above!) of protein and cheese. Or order your favourite pizza in all of its glory and eat it in a mindful way and you might find you leave a slice (or two) behind you because you didn’t need it all and now have some space to share a brownie!


True story! (image via lingvistov)

Lindt offering their signature milk chocolate truffles in packet of three make me verrry happy!


Have a great week!


My name is Michelle and I’m a Dublin-based GP (family doctor). Life is short: take the minimalist approach to maximise your health!

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