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The 4-Week Portion Control Challenge

author image Rachel Grice
Rachel Grice is a contributing fitness editor for and a certified yoga instructor. Previously, she was the science section editor and titling associate for several other sections of Demand Media Studios, including fitness, nutrition and technology. She completed her undergrad education at the University of Southern California and has worked for Men's Health, FitPregnancy and People magazines.
The 4-Week Portion Control Challenge
Join the LIVESTRONG Portion Control Challenge. Photo Credit: LIVESTRONG.COM

If you've ever tried to lose weight, you've probably heard the advice, "Eat less and move more." OK, great! But exactly how much less should you be eating? Or let's say you're trying to maintain your weight. How do you get enough food to fuel your body but not so much that you gain weight?

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Enter: LIVESTRONG's 4-Week Portion Control Challenge.

Starting Monday, March 5, we're challenging you to see your meals in a whole new way. If you've ever been confused by how much you need to eat, wondered whether you should care more about calories or macros or been overwhelmed by overhauling your eating habits, we'd love for you to join us!

How to Join the Portion Control Challenge

1. Bookmark this easy-to-use guide to estimating portion sizes, created by nutrition coach John Berardi, Ph.D. In it, he describes how to measure your portions using just your hand. Here's the gist of it:

  • Your palm determines your protein portions.
  • Your fist determines your vegetable portions.
  • Your cupped hand determines your carbohydrate portions.
  • Your thumb determines your fat portions.

2. Print out the graphic below and hang it on your fridge as a meal-time reminder. Each time you're preparing to eat, make sure your plate features:

  • 2 palms of protein-dense foods with each meal (1 for women)
  • 2 fists of vegetables with each meal (1 for women)
  • Optional: 2 cupped hands of carb-dense foods (1 for women)
  • Optional: 2 thumb-sized portions of fat-dense foods (1 for women)
Print this graphic out and keep it on your fridge.
Print this graphic out and keep it on your fridge. Photo Credit: Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM

3. Download LIVESTRONG's free calorie tracking app MyPlate for iOS or Android. Measuring your portions is only one part of a successful weight-loss or weight-maintenance strategy. Once you've portioned out your breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack, enter it into the app to make sure you're staying on target for the day's calories, carbs, protein and fat.

4. Join the LIVESTRONG.COM Challenge Facebook group. We'll be posting lots of helpful info and recipes, answering all your questions and connecting you to other members of the community who are joining you for the challenge.

5. Post photos of your meals each day to the Facebook group so that you have an effective and accurate record of what you're eating, as well as get support and inspiration from other members of the community to help you stay on track.

Read more: A Quick and Easy Way to Estimate Portion Size

What Do YOU Think?

Will you be joining us for the 4-Week Portion Control Challenge? Have you joined the Facebook group yet? Have you ever tried to lose weight before? Or do you currently measure out your macronutrient portions or count calories? Have you tried any other weight-loss strategies? What worked for you? What didn't? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

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