Is your Dietitian using a portion control tool help you with your weight loss?

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Sep 14, 11:23 AM in . No comments.


There have been quite a few portion control plates and various other portion control teaching tools around over the years. In the past I have used plastic food models which show a perfect “portion” as well as cup measures, photographs and of course, the many versions of the portion plate to help my clients make changes to their diets. Portion control plates are designed to show the correct measure of portions of protein, carbohydrate and vegetables for each meal by way of an illustrated “measured” section for each. This eliminates the need for measuring and weighing and is a handy tool for bringing portion sizes back from supersized to realistic amounts.

But are these portion control tools effective?

A study just published has shown that portion control intervention, like the portion plate, alongside dietary counselling can be more effective for enhancing weight loss.

In the study by Kesman, Ebbart and associates, patients were randomised into two groups for 6 month weight loss programmes with the Dietitian. The first group was given regular dietetic input using counselling and instructional leaflets and the second group included the same care but also incorporated use of a portion plate during counselling and education sessions. Those who were in the portion plate intervention group showed a greater percent change in weight, particularly after three months. Nearly one half of patients in the portion plate intervention group said it was helpful and would recommend it to others.

Visual tools can make such a big difference.

There are many portion plates on the market now. Some have been designed just for men, just for women and there are even some for children’s portions. If your Dietitian isn’t using one, it may be a good idea to ask if he or she has one you could refer to. If you’d like to have one at home as a guide, it might be well worth it.

Portion Control Plate

Have you used a portion plate? Was it useful? Please let us know and share your experience and tips.


Kesman, R. Ebbert, J. Harries, K & Schroeder D. (2011).Portion Control for the Treatment of Obesity in the Primary Care Setting.BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:346. (published 9 September 2011)

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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