The Secret to Portion Control

Are you a professional dieter?  An expert at losing weight?  An expert at gaining the weight back?  One of the biggest concerns that people have when it comes to weight management is how to keep it off long-term.  There are a variety of skills I teach my patients to master weight maintenance, but if I were to pick just one skill, it would be portion control.  So the next question is how?


I direct a medical weight loss program called OPTIFAST, a clinically proven program created by Nestle Health Science that has helped over a million people lose weight and maintain it successfully since 1974.  OPTIFAST stems from the scientific theory of stimuli narrowing.  We live in a country of sensory overload from food commercials every minute to driving by fast food every block to the smell of a barbecue restaurant down the street.  These “triggers” stimulate our appetite centers starting from the brain and send overwhelming signals to our bodies wanting and craving these foods.  Our bodies are so stimulated leading us to eat past full and onto food coma city.  It is no wonder then why the U.S. suffers from high rates of obesity.


Stimuli narrowing means that if you control the amount of food triggers in your environment and narrow your food choices, then your body will be less overwhelmed and you will have the increased ability to control your portions.  Let’s begin.


#1 Know your triggers

Keep your food temptations out of the house.  If chips are your weakness, don’t let it sit on your counter.  If you drive by your favorite fast-food restaurant every day, change your route.  If your mom makes you your favorite dish every Sunday, gently ask her to change up her cooking routine.


#2 Plan ahead

Just like a baby, your body works on a schedule.  Be predictable with your eating pattern.  Your metabolism will love you, and you will be rewarded fully of energy.  But if you skip meals or walk out the door not knowing how you are going to eat for the day, you are throwing yourself to the wolves and your weight will suffer from that grab and go attitude.


#3 Dine out with a strategy

If you find yourself taking your family out to eat or if you have to entertain a business client, always look at the menu first.  Know what you are going to do before even stepping into the restaurant.  Stay in control over the temptations that are generated from a restaurant environment.


Share with us some of your strategies for portion control!

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Dr. Angela Tran