Learning Portion Control


As one of the three main focuses in reversing my diabetes, learning portion control was probably one of the hardest things I had to learn.

Before Diabetes

I love food, I love to eat food, especially homemade comfort food. Each Sunday is my opportunity to cook dinner for the family. I really love and enjoy this time to be in the kitchen preparing food, experimenting with tastes and products.

Besides my occasional recipe flop, I always tend to make too much food. I do have a pretty big family (I have 5 kids) but even with all of them at home, I tend to always have more than everyone can eat. Because of this, I always found myself going back for seconds or even thirds especially when it was something that took a lot of effort to make, or a recipe that turned out really well.

Breaking the Pattern

I knew that once I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, something had to change.  When I was in the hospital the nutritionist gave me the advice that I should divide my plate into three portions.

One portion is 25% of the plate is allocated for a protein, 25% of the plate is allocated for a complex carbohydrates  (like rice, pasta, bread, etc.) and the remaining 50% is allocated for vegetables.

The first time I sat down to a meal where I followed this pattern, as I thought to myself, “Man that’s not much.”

Retraining My Brain

Although at first this appeared to be a small portion, especially compared to my previous portions, I quickly found out that by mixing the correct blend of portions, I felt more full that I ever was before.

Now, I am not going to say that it was easy, or that I wasn’t left feeling a little wanting, but I am sure that most of that was psychological. My brain had been trained to want more, so I retrained my brain to think within the framework of 25%, 25%, and 50%.

Quality Over Quantity

Over time, my brain eventually caught up with my stomach and they came in line with each other.

Now, I think within the frame of quality foods, rather than quantity.

Rather than feeling like I need to have more of some food, I try to make sure that what I do have, is high quality.

Eating the freshest vegetables possible, eating higher quality meats, eating higher quality pasta, and fresh oats or homemade breads where I can control the ingredients going into recipe, resulting in a better balance and easier to control portions.

This is Important

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to exercise portion control. This one point has really helped to change my lifestyle and contributed greatly to my ability to reverse my diabetes. Not only has it helped me to control my carbohydrate and caloric intake, it has allowed me to retrain my brain to come into balance with my stomach.

How is your portion control going? Having success, still working at it? Share your experiences below and let us know how you are doing with your portion control.


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