What Diet Experts Don’t Tell You About Portions

  July 17, 2020  |    Blog

As registered dietitians and certified personal trainers who specialize in weight loss, we see a lot of great tips about limiting serving sizes but there is something that diet experts don’t tell you about portions. And while you may be working hard to log the portions that you eat, you may be making a common mistake that can prevent you from seeing the results that you deserve.

Twice this week we saw serving size issues with our clients who were unknowingly consuming a larger portion and more calories than they thought. And if you’re making this mistake too, you may be frustrated that you do not see the weight loss results that you thought you would. We hear you–and we don’t want that for you! You work hard and you deserve weight loss results!

That’s why we’re sharing what diet experts don’t tell you about portions so that you can nip it in the bud if it’s an issue for you!

What do diet experts tell you about portions?  To stick to a serving to lose weight.

What they don’t tell you?

 How easy it is to unknowingly eat more than one serving. And this prevents weight loss.

We want to share a portion mistake that was getting in the way of one of our client’s weight loss efforts because it’s SO easy to make. 

She was doing everything right…

  • eating a LOT of veggies, plenty of protein & a serving of healthy carbs at meals
  • tracking what she was eating
  • sticking to the serving we recommended

but wasn’t seeing results.

When we took a deeper look, our suspicions were confirmed.

While she thought she was sticking to one “serving”, she was often getting one and a half or even two servings—which meant double the calories!

She used the bowl below to keep her portion of popcorn in check.

From the bottom of this bowl to the right below the rim of the top = 2 cups. 2 cups of her favorite popcorn = 140 calories.

She was actually eating …

an excess/ overflow…

An extra 70 calories. And this was happening with multiple foods throughout the day.

When it came to peanut butter, our client was also getting more than she thought. (As PB lovers, we’ve been guilty as charged for getting more than a serving too!)

These are both teaspoons, only one is a level portion and one isn’t. This difference equals double the calories or more.

If you’re frustrated because you’re not losing weight, check to see if you’re eating extra unaccounted portions. Check sauces, oils, dressings & nut butter.

If portion distortion has gotten the best of you, you’re not alone!

See how quickly portions add up


Remember to level off the portion sizes when you can!

When it comes to staying lean or losing weight portion size does matter and especially so with the portions of fats. Check this out:

  • 1 tbsp of oil is one serving and 120 calories.

Just 2 tbsp of oil, is 240 calories.

  • A serving of Peanut butter is 2 tbsp and 190 calories.

Have 2 servings –4 tbsp and that’s nearly 400 calories.

This is why we suggest putting liquid fats in a spray bottle to get the flavor and disperse the fat and calories…. Below you’ll see our favorite way to control the portion of the oils (even healthy ones) that we eat! (Yes, that coconut one is so good for browning/caramelizing Lyssie’s favorite—fennel)

Looking for a portion-controlled sweet treat? Try this easy-to-make, refreshing Frozen Yogurt Bark with Blueberries & Pomegranate.

You can’t go wrong at only 18 calories per refreshing, delicious serving!

If you’re looking for more support, we would love for you to apply to our Transformation Jumpstart program! It is a super easy process to ensure that we can support you to the best of our abilities. You can apply here.











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