Research: Portion control a successful strategy for weight loss.

Research DefinitionResearch Definition

Portion control leads to higher level of weight loss success.  

Portion Control
Portion Control

Weight loss success in people is highly variable among individuals and what may lead to success in one may lead to failure in another.  Analysis of weight loss patterns in those that are successful may help those who intend to try to lose weight by providing them with suggested methods or changes.  Recognising individual variability and identifying different weight loss patterns that more likely to lead to successful weight loss should be the focus of helping others.  

A recent study looked at data from the PortionControl@HOME study[1].  The researchers aimed to identify weight loss patterns and their determinants in adults with overweight and obesity.  The study was a questionnaire-based study to look at dietary patterns to determine what habits might help with weight loss.  In particular, they looked at portion control in the study.  The weight of 175 adult subjects was measured at the start, three, and 12 months.  The questionnaires were completed at zero and three months.  Weight loss patterns were identified based on per cent weight change during Phase 2 (0–3 months) and Phase 1 (3–12 months).  

The results identified three weight loss patterns: (1) low success with low weight loss achievement, (2) moderate success with successful weight loss in Phase 1 followed by partial regain in Phase 2 and (3) high success with weight loss in Phase 1 followed by continued weight loss in Phase 2.  Compared to the moderate success pattern, the low success pattern was negatively associated with the power of food at baseline in which there was a strong appetitive drive to consume highly palatable foods and change in portion control behaviour or the use of behavioural strategies to control the amount of food consumed.

The bottom line:   Adults with an increased portion control and a greater ability to avoid the power of food were less likely to exhibit an unsuccessful weight loss pattern.  Thus, portion control appears to be a successful weight loss pattern if you are able to limit consumption.  


  1. [1]
    M. Eykelenboom, M. M. van Stralen, M. P. Poelman, and I. H. M. Steenhuis, “Patterns of weight loss and their determinants in a sample of adults with overweight and obesity intending to lose weight,” N, Nov. 2018 [Online]. Available: 10.1111/1747-0080.12489″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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