Portion Control

Portion Control

The AskScooby Forum has been really good for my continued education which is odd because I didnt anticipate that outcome at all! I started the forum as a way to help others but as it turns out, it has been an excellent place to refine my fitness ideas and continue learning. We have some amazing moderators on the forum who have challenged positions on many issues and caused me to critically re-examine them. Bodybuilding is a lifelong learning process, even I continue to learn! I always laugh when there are expensive eBooks and website subscriptions from hotshot 18 year olds who think that they know absolutely everything about bodybuilding.

Scooby’s quote for the day:

The more you know, the more you realize how little you know so if you think you know everything then you know nothing.

One area where my bodybuilding ideas have been challenged the most by our excellent moderators and members on the AskScooby forum is in the arena of nutrition. I had to make significant changes to my nutrition page. Two of the main areas where I did a nutritional 180 was on fats and portion control. I used to be a hardcore, “the less fat consumed, the better” person but have been reformed. The other area where I have been reformed is in the area of portion control. My stance used to be that you should never count calories because that would lead to deprivation which would lead to binging which would lead to failure. I used to think that as long as you at a healthy diet high in fresh vegetables and whole grains that you could eat as much as you want and you would still lose weight. What I learned the hard way was that …



You can always out-eat your exercise!



I would do two, three hours of really intense cardio a day, eat piles of vegetables but yet the fat only came off at a snails pace. I figured that with all the exercise I was doing that I could eat what I wanted and still lose weight, certainly all the healthy food I wanted. The only thing getting sore was my jaw from chewing so many vegetables. What I didnt realize is that eating healthy food and exercising a lot was only two thirds of the equation for reducing bodyfat, the missing part wasportion control!

Reducing bodyfat requires:

  1. eating healthy foods
  2. exercise
  3. portion control

And portion control is not a horrible thing, don’t think diet and deprivation. Portion control for many is making sure they eat enough! From my experience, most people fail in their quest to reduce bodyfat not because they eat too much but because they don’t eat enough! At the start of their diets, they are excited, ambitious and eager to lose the fat quickly – too quickly. They drastically cut their calories which causes two problems, first they burn muscle and second they feel deprived. For a week or two they are really excited that they are losing weight so fast but then the feelings of deprivation set in until the tipping point where they go off the diet and binge. If you want to lose bodyfat, the proper caloric reduction is ten to twenty percent – no more. You cant rely on a table in a book to figure out how many calories you should consume as there are too many variables that determine how many calories your body needs in a day (your TDEE). You need a precise value from a calorie calculator so that you don’t reduce your intake too much!

What I personally have found is that if I eat a healthy diet, and reduce my calories by 20% that I am never hungry. Note the emphasis on healthy diet. A diet high in fiber and complex carbs is key to losing weight without being hungry. I can guarantee you that if you cut your calories by 20% but eat cheeseburgers and potato chips that you wont be successful!

So, portion control consists of two parts, knowing how many calories to consume and the second part is insuring that you consume that calculated number of calories. Your #1 tool in this task is a digital kitchen scale.
Kitchen Scale
Before you can weigh it though, you have to take that daily calorie total you calculated using the calorie calculator and turn that into meals. This is where most people fail. You have several options:

  • You can use the meals that my calorie calculator or carb cycling meal planner automatically generate for you.
  • You can slog thru it the old fashioned way, looking up the nutritional value of everything you eat and adding it up.
  • You can use an iPhone application like “Lose It” to help you plan your meal
  • Use a free interactive meal planner
  • Buy access to a bodybuilding specific interactive meal planner, the best I have found is from Will Brink and you get lifetime access if you buy his eBook.

Once you have a meal plan for the day, weigh everything that passes your lips!