Tip: An Easy Way to Portion Control

Like it or not, all diets come down to eating less. Here's a simple way to take control before meals.

This simple tip will greatly help with portion control; it might even help you build muscle in the process.

Prior to your main meals of the day, drink a protein shake, ideally 5-10 minutes before the meal. This tip works even better when using a thicker shake like Metabolic Drive® Protein. Why? Because a thicker shake fills you up more, and that's the purpose of this pre-meal shake.

The true key to fat loss is eating less. Most people have problems with portion control and that's why they do better when they resort to extreme diets. Take the keto diet for example: a high-fat and moderate-to-high protein meal is a lot more satiating than a high-carb, moderate-protein meal. A higher fat meal also takes a lot longer to digest, which reduces hunger.

Studies have shown that if an individual doesn't eat a calorie-controlled diet, he will eat less when on a keto diet versus a higher carb diet. The caloric restriction is the main reason people report a lot of success when they start keto dieting.

Intermittent fasting uses a different approach. While most variations of it don't control portions, by having a long period without food you can control total daily food intake. It's harder to overeat when you can only eat within a 4-hour window of time.

If you can find a way to decrease caloric intake without feeling like crap, your chances of success are greater because it'll be easier to stick with it over the long run.

Drinking a thick protein shake 5-10 minutes prior to a meal will decrease appetite, especially if blended with a good amount of ice and water. And contrary to popular belief, not all protein shakes are the same. Different ingredients do different things and there is a variety of sources that proteins can come from. Look for one with micellar casein which is a protein that will digest slowly and blunt hunger for longer.

When you're on a diet and your portions are reduced, having that shake will leave you satisfied even if you ate less than usual. And if you are "free-eating" (no planned portions) the pre-meal shake will prevent splurges.

Drink the shake before the meal or it will defeat the purpose. You're not using it merely for additional protein, but as a tool to reduce subsequent food intake.

Now, people who struggle with basic logic and reasoning will say this: "But Christian, you said that the key to fat loss is creating a caloric deficit. Protein shakes have a caloric value, don't they?"

Of course they do. Each gram of protein provides roughly 4 calories of energy. However, since protein is extremely difficult to use for fuel (needs to be converted to glucose) and even harder to store as fat, consuming more of it will not negatively impact fat loss.

And the purpose of consuming the shake before mealtime is to make you want to eat less at the dinner table, so you'll end up consuming fewer total calories.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.