Plate Method for Portion Control

Last Updated on January 3, 2023 by Ellen Christian

Do you know how to use the plate method for portion control? I’m sharing a few tips that will help including my favorite portion control plates. 

Posts may be sponsored. This post contains affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

How To Use The Plate Method for Portion Control

Plate Method for Portion Control

When I was younger, I never had a problem with my weight. I was always thin and sort of took it for granted that I always would be. Unfortunately, as I grew older and had children, I slowly started to put on a few pounds and a few more pounds until I was about 45 pounds overweight and very unhappy with the way I looked.

And, I really didn’t think I was eating too much. I wasn’t one to sit down and devour a whole box of cookies or a whole bag of candy. I just ate *regular* meals and still couldn’t manage to lose weight.

After joining Weight Watchers, I began to really take a look at how and what I was eating. Sure, there was some junk involved that I needed to cut out but my big problem was portion control. After all, I was used to thinking that a serving of starch was the size of a large box of fast-food french fries… NOT. Definitely not a serving.

It’s certainly marketed as a serving for one but it definitely is not. Do you know how much a serving of protein is? How about a serving of mashed potatoes or rice? I had no idea how huge my portions were until I took a look at what a real serving size was. I was eating way more than one serving and I never even knew it. Portion control is the key.


While there are some things that I weigh in the kitchen, it’s really much easier to measure a serving based on size. Plus I don’t really want my company seeing me weighing out a scoop of pasta or measuring a half cup of rice. I still need to have a valid way of keeping track of what I’m eating though.

Using a food scale will help you understand what a 4-ounce piece of chicken breast really looks like. This one is the one I have been using. A portion control plate like this one helps you visualize what you’re supposed to be eating.

Fist Method

I’ve heard a lot about measuring a serving based on the size of your fist or a golf ball. I have never been that successful using this method. I may think that the rice on my plate is the size of a golf ball, but without one near me to judge, I’m probably off.

The problem I have with using a fist as a guideline is that my fist is not the same as your fist. And, how many times does that pork chop really look like your fist? That’s why a portion control plate is so helpful. This one is perfect for lunch when you’re using the plate method.

Plate Method

One of the easiest methods I have used is the plate method for portion control. With the plate method, each type of food should take up roughly a certain portion of your plate.  Using a portion control plate makes this process even easier.

  • 50% of your plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables. Look for carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale, tomatoes, etc. Avoid starchy vegetables like corn, beans, and peas. Your body will convert starch to sugar more quickly.
  • 25% of your plate should be filled with lean protein. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a juicy steak or pork chop. Fat gives our meat flavor. However, be sure that a majority of your protein comes from lean meat.
  • 25% of your plate can be filled with starchy food. It’s best to opt for whole grains like long-grain brown rice or quinoa rather than a slice of white bread or white rice. For those doing Paleo or gluten-free, this is a great time to enjoy winter squash or sweet potatoes. Despite my husband’s insistence, potatoes are starch and not a vegetable.

If you’re dealing with diabetes, a diabetes portion control plate will definitely help.

The Extras

There are still a few areas that you need to be careful with when using the plate method for portion control. If you are enjoying a pasta dish and want to add cheese, it’s important that you add only one serving of cheese. Using a portion control cheese grater allows you to see exactly what one serving of grated cheese looks like.  A portion control pasta scoop makes it easy to see what one serving of pasta is when you fill your bowl.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to use a variety of different portion control methods depending on whether you’re eating at home, at a friends’ house, or restaurant. But, by following these techniques, you’ll soon learn the correct portions to eat in order to have a healthy diet.

More weight loss articles

15 thoughts on “Plate Method for Portion Control”

  1. Oh wow...these look like they could help me drop a few pounds. Literally. Portion control is very difficult for me. I would love to purchase some of these for myself and for my mom, who is dieting with me. Thanks sooo much for sharing them with us! :)
  2. I have some of these - the serving set and pasta basket - love em! It's amazing how we've come to start eating 2-3 servings at once thinking it's just ONE serving.
  3. wow what great looking products, in addition to the fact that they'll help you with portion control! I love the colors.
    I definitely go overboard with cheese and pasta too! LOL :)
    Thanks for sharing these - they look like they'd be fun gift items!
  4. Wow..these are really cool. I was just thinking today that my problem is more about portion control than what I eat. I feel an Amazon shopping spree in my future!
  5. Wow, those are so neat! I NEED THEM!! Recently my husband and I have been trying to eat right and weigh our food, but I love how these takes all the guesswork out! Thanks for sharing :)
  6. What a fantastic idea! I've been trying to be better about my portion sizes since I want to lose a few pounds. I know that would be a good place to start but I find it so hard to estimate amounts!
  7. I love these products and wish I would have found out about them sooner. Since I've started using them we've learned a thing or two about portion control.
  8. I love the pasta basket. I usually measure my pasta in a big old ugly measuring cup but this will add little flair to my cooking utensils
  9. Those are completely awesome, especially the pasta basket. My biggest problem with watching my weight is portions. I know to eat x number of meals a day and lower my fat content BUT have issues with how much to put on my plate. Love these tools, thank you for sharing.
  10. Those are really neat! I did the Weight Watchers thing and I came to learn how to weigh everything, including my pasta. This is a great alternative to having to weight everything. Thanks for the review!

Leave a Comment