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You Don’t Need to Make Your Portions Smaller to Lose Weight — Just Rearrange Them, Expert Says


There’s almost nothing more frustrating than vigilantly sticking to a diet and have it fail to show any real results. What was the use of all that hard work if it’s not even going to do what it’s supposed to? Before you decide to just give up and dig into your favorite comfort food, take a look at the food comparisons dietitian Paula Norris shares on her Instagram page

Both plates of dishes are made of similar healthy ingredients, but the difference in how much of each item you pile on can clearly add up when it comes to the calories you’re consuming. For example, both of the pizzas shown below look delicious — but the one on the right contains about 300 fewer calories.

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HEALTHY HOMEMADE PIZZA 👍🏻 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What other meals would you like to see in this spot the difference format? Tell me below! 🙏🏽👇🏽 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the left 🔸Medium sized Pizza base 🔸Dried herbs 🔸Chilli flakes 🔸40g tomato paste 🔸50g full fat cheese 🔸10g red onion 🔸3 anchovies 🔸50g Salami 🔸7 cherry tomatoes 🔸20g Feta 🔸Basil ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the right 🔹Medium sized Pizza base 🔹40g tomato paste 🔹Dries herbs 🔹Chilli flakes 🔹40g low fat cheese 🔹10g red onion 🔹3 anchovies 🔹50g prawns 🔹10 cherry tomatoes 🔹Basil ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We probably left these in the oven a few minutes too long but they were still delish 😋

A post shared by Paula Norris, Dietitian (@movingdietitian) on

Each example Norris posts just goes to show how important it is to consider every ingredient and how you should be using them. Just because certain items of food are considered “healthy” doesn’t mean you can just toss them in together without taking their individual nutrition into account. Norris lays out the ingredient swaps of each dish she posts so you can pick up better habits for all of your daily meals. 

If you’re afraid that this will mean you’re simply giving yourself smaller portions to eat at mealtime, don’t worry — most of the comparisons Norris displays actually seem to create an equal (if not larger) amount of food to fill up your belly. The burrito bowls shown below definitely look just as filling with a few minor rearrangements, like cutting back a bit on the rice and guacamole.

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Mexican chicken or burrito bowls came up as a regular item in lots of your households when I asked a few days back. Again- while the ingredients are all HEALTHY (maybe except for the Mayo 🙊) – this is to show how a lower or higher calorie version can be prepped by playing with the portions of ingredients. The volume of the meals are similar. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the left 🔸3/4 cup cooked brown rice 🔸1/2 large tomato 🔸1/2 Avocado – mashed 🔸1/4 cup black beans 🔸1/2 cob corn 🔸1 cup lettuce 🔸1/8 small red onion 🔸1 Tbsp Mayo 🔸180g chicken – cooked in pan with Cumin & Piri Piri/Chipotle spices 🔸2tsp oil (for cooking chicken) 🔸Parsley ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the right 🔹1/4 cup cooked brown rice 🔹1/2 large tomato 🔹1/4 Avocado – mashed 🔹1/2 cup black beans 🔹1/2 cob corn 🔹1 cup lettuce 🔹1/8 small red onion 🔹1/3 Zucchini 🔹100g chicken – dry grilled with Cumin & Piri Piri/Chipotle spices 🔹Dressing of 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp honey 🔹Parsley

A post shared by Paula Norris, Dietitian (@movingdietitian) on

Plus, you can adjust this idea to any diet you might be attempting, including forms of keto and intermittent fasting. It’s all about being more mindful about what you put in your body, which is definitely something we should all be doing more of even if we’re not on any diet at all. You might be surprised by how such a simple twist of your perspective can make a difference the next time you step onto the scale. 

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