These Photos Prove How Important Portion Control Is For Weight Loss

If you're loading up on healthy foods — fruit, nuts, healthy fats, and protein — but still not seeing the scale budge, it could be because of your portion sizes. Many healthy foods are calorie-dense, so if you're not paying attention to how much you're eating, you could be ingesting a few extra hundred calories a day. If you consistently go over your daily calorie budget, that could stall your weight-loss progress or even make you gain weight.

But what does a proper serving size look like? It's easy to get carried away with how much food you're eating, especially if you just eyeball it. These instagram photos show exactly what a serving size should look like, and why you should stick to the healthier option. "Just a handful" of your favorite sweet or salty snack could mean the difference of a few extra hundred calories at the end of the day.

What a Serving of Rice Actually Looks Like

Brown rice is healthy, but it is still calorie-dense. One cup is 220 calories while an actual serving, half a cup, is just 110 calories. You can still make a filling, satisfying meal while sticking to just one serving of rice.

What a 100-Calorie Snack Looks Like

Trail mix seems like a healthy snack, until you realize the dried fruit and nuts really add up. Instead, opt for fresh fruit and almonds for still under 100 calories.

Serving Sizes of Healthy Carbs

Getting plenty of hearty, fiber-rich carbs is essential for energy and can even boost weight loss. But it's easy to go overboard on a serving size; Amanda Meixner (@mewomix) shows what a serving of her favorite healthy carbs actually looks like.

Restaurant Portion vs. Homemade Portion

Yes, pasta can fit in to a healthy diet — it just needs to be portioned out correctly. Restaurants usually go overboard with two or more cups per serving, while an actual serving is half a cup to a full cup.

Too Much Avocado on Your Avocado Toast

If you're making a wholesome breakfast, getting your healthy fats in with avocado toast and nut butter, plus protein with some eggs may seem like the smart option. But if you're not careful, you can quickly rack up the calories. Four eggs plus two egg whites, one whole avocado, one piece of Ezekiel toast, one apple, and two tablespoons of peanut butter add up to more than 1,000 calories. Pair that down with just two eggs and two egg whites, one piece of Ezekiel toast, half an avocado, and one apple for just 507 calories.

Staying On Track at Parties

Chicken wings are a party food staple, and you shouldn't have to give them up entirely. But if you stick to just three wings and load up on veggies, you will cut the calories in half compared to eating a serving size of six wings.

A Healthier Dessert

Dark chocolate is a healthy dessert option; it's packed with antioxidants and can even help boost brain and heart health. But it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Just three squares of dark chocolate clocks in at 165 calories, while you can eat the same amount of calories but enjoy one square of dark chocolate, a cup of strawberries, and a handful of almonds. Plus, you will be getting more fiber and end up feeling more satisfied.

Going Overboard on Almonds

Almonds are a healthy snack; they're packed with fiber and protein, and are a perfect fix if you're craving something salty. But it's easy to eat too many of them if you don't measure out your portions. 80 grams of almonds is as many calories as a full meal — 70 grams of salmon, 20 grams of cottage cheese, half an avocado, and one bagel.

Being Careful with Cooking

Stir-fried veggies, chicken, and rice is a hearty, satisfying meal and can be a healthy option — if you do it right. The photo on left uses more chicken, oil for cooking, and a full cup of rice. The photo on the right uses about half the amount of chicken, no oil, and just half a cup of brown rice.

Not Measuring Out Almonds

Again, loading up on almonds can impact your overall weight-loss goals if you're not careful. If you don't measure out your nuts, you could end up eating more calories than a candy bar! The photo on the left is only about 3/4 of a cup of almonds; an easy amount to eat if you don't measure out your portion. Instead, stick to 1/4 a cup for a serving.

Portions Add Up Throughout the Day

If you're snacking on healthy foods all day, you might not even be paying attention to your portion sizes. But a handful of nuts here and a few dates there can really add up. This photo from Instagram user _schneiderreich shows what happens when you don't properly portion out your foods. You end up eating hundreds of extra calories throughout the day.

Healthy Breakfast Mistakes

Greek yogurt topped with fresh berries, dark chocolate, and nut butter isn't just delicious; it can be a healthy option, too. Unless you go overboard with the chocolate and nut butter, like this photo demonstrates. With triple the chocolate, triple the honey, half the amount of fruit, and five times the amount of cashew butter, the photo on the right is nearly twice as many calories as the one on the left.

How to Eat Ice Cream and Still Lose Weight

Yes, it's possible to indulge in dessert and still lose weight, but only if you do it right. These photos show what happens when you use whipped cream, chocolate sauce, fewer berries, and eat full-fat ice cream as opposed to lower-calorie Halo Top. Not only is Halo Top delicious, but it's also packed with more protein and has less fat and fewer calories than regular ice cream. It's a smart choice for those looking to lose weight.