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Written By THT Editorial Team

Reviewed by Liza Nagarkoti , BSc Nursing, MA(Nutrition), Project Officer (Health) LWF Nepal

Planning portion control and cultivating the habit of mindful eating are effective strategies for weight management. These approaches help individuals develop a better understanding of their hunger and fullness cues, make conscious food choices, and prevent overeating. Let’s explore some practical steps and recent research findings in this area.

Use Smaller Plates and Bowls: Research suggests that using smaller plates and bowls can help reduce portion sizes and calorie intake. A study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research found that individuals served themselves larger portions when using larger plates, leading to increased food consumption (1). By downsizing our tableware, we can naturally control portion sizes and promote mindful eating.

Serve Pre-Portioned Meals and Snacks: Preparing pre-portioned meals and snacks can assist in regulating food intake. Recent research published in the journal Appetite demonstrated that pre-portioned meals helped individuals consume fewer calories compared to self-selected portion sizes (2). By pre-planning and portioning meals, we can effectively manage our calorie intake and support weight management goals.

Practice Mindful Eating Techniques: Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the present moment while eating, including the taste, texture, and enjoyment of food. Research has shown that practicing mindful eating can lead to reduced calorie intake and improved eating behaviors. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that individuals who underwent a mindful eating intervention experienced significant reductions in body weight and binge eating episodes (3).

Slow Down and Chew Thoroughly: Eating slowly and chewing food thoroughly can enhance the experience of eating and promote feelings of fullness. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association demonstrated that slower eating speed was associated with lower energy intake and increased fullness ratings (4). Taking the time to savor each bite and thoroughly chew food can help prevent overeating and support portion control.

Eliminate Distractions: Eating while distracted, such as watching TV or using electronic devices, can lead to mindless eating and overconsumption. Recent studies have shown that removing distractions during meals can improve awareness of hunger and fullness cues. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that reducing external distractions led to a decrease in meal energy intake (5). Creating a calm and focused environment while eating can enhance mindful eating practices.

Keep a Food Diary: Keeping a food diary or using a mobile app to track food intake has been shown to increase awareness of eating patterns and portion sizes. A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics demonstrated that individuals who tracked their food intake consistently had greater weight loss success (6). By recording our food choices and portion sizes, we can identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to support weight management goals.

Incorporating these strategies into daily life can help promote portion control and mindful eating, leading to better weight management outcomes. By being mindful of our eating habits and making conscious choices, we can foster a healthier relationship with food and achieve sustainable weight loss.


  • van Ittersum, K., & Wansink, B. (2012). Plate size and color suggestibility: The Delboeuf illusion’s bias on serving and eating behavior. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 1(4), 455-462.
  • Rolls, B. J., Roe, L. S., & Meengs, J. S. (2006). Larger portion sizes lead to a sustained increase in energy intake over 2 days. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(4), 543-549.
  • O’Reilly, G. A., Cook, L., Spruijt-Metz, D., & Black, D. S. (2014 . Mindfulness-based interventions for obesity-related eating behaviors: A literature review. Journal of Obesity, 2014, 651936.
  • Andrade, A. M., Greene, G. W., & Melanson, K. J. (2008). Eating slowly led to decreases in energy intake within meals in healthy women. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(7), 1186-1191.
  • Oldham-Cooper, R. E., Hardman, C. A., Nicoll, C. E., Rogers, P. J., & Brunstrom, J. M. (2011). Playing a computer game during lunch affects fullness, memory for lunch, and later snack intake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(2), 308-313.
  • Hollis, J. F., Gullion, C. M., & Stevens, V. J. (2008). Weight loss during the intensive intervention phase of the weight-loss maintenance trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(2), 118-126.