Get ready for a shocker…

Portion control MAY be keeping you fat. It may be the dirty little culprit standing in the way of your dreams and goals of having a healthy and fit body.

If you are like most people, you’re probably wondering, "no, it is all the extra food I am eating that is keeping me fat."

Maybe. But I want to share with you the reasons for my controversial assertion, that may raise a few eyebrows…

It needs to be said that portion control is a critically important tool. Of course we want to keep an eye on calories, and for people just starting the weight loss process portion control is something people must learn and even master.

However, the problem with portion control is that people most often use it as their primary weight loss strategy. Because life is busy and most of us have a limited amount of things we can focus on, it often becomes the ONLY strategy that people use.

People know they need to eat more vegetables and more fiber. Likely there is a whole list of things people "should" be doing.

So what's left is a strategy that most of us have been taught -- and one that is not working to well based on every statistic available.

So why are we SO focused on something that is not working?

Quite frankly, because it sounds so "reasonable" and "sensible."

It is also the advice we are likely to hear from our doctors and medical professionals and society as a whole.

Not only does it promote the idea that any food is fine as long as it is eaten in limited quantities - but in my years of experience - portion control actually discourages people from eating the best foods in beneficial enough quantities.

Vegetables are a CLASSIC example of this. Many people obviously do not get enough vegetables. But when I probe into this further to identify the "why", I often see that people are eating several portions of vegetables - but that they are portion controlling the vegetables!

However, once I make this observation, and tell people to go crazy with the vegetables, most make this adjustment with an astonishing degree of success.

These people just need a small amount of re-programming and re-learning.

People are portion controlling a lot of junk, thinking that is a "reasonable" strategy. Foods that are high in sugar, low in micronutrients.

For some people, a small amount of wheat, dairy or eggs can have a big and negative impact. It doesn't matter what the portion of those foods are. They can cause reactions.

In addition, people portion control meat and animal protein. Now, based on all the available science, as well as the interpretation of the available research, we hear that we need to keep meat consumption to roughly 10% of calories.

However, this does not take into account any difference in the quality of the meat source. Would it sound reasonable to you to suggest that a serving of poached Wild Salmon (natural food) is probably better for you than a hot dog (processed food)?

Fiber and fat are great example of this. A very popular weight loss concept has been to increase fiber and reduce fat. I don't need to point out who has made that popular. Formulas are created that essentially says that all fiber is good, and all fat is bad. But a little common sense helps us quickly understand that there are certain fats that are good.

Conversely, there are certain sources of fiber which probably are not that great for you, regardless of the portion size.

...Just some food for thought!

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Author's Bio: 

Jackie Wicks is the founder of the groundbreaking health and weight loss community, which was recognized by US News And World Report as one of the best sites to stay on a diet and lose weight in June, 2011. She is regularly quoted in the press as a healthy lifestyle expert in publications such as ABC News, Wall Street Journal Radio and hundreds of other national media outlets. Ms. Wicks is also the author of the innovative PEERtrainer Cheat System: A Simple Guide To Healthy And Long Term Weight Loss. For more information and the full article visit