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Cups Diet

The CUPS Diet is one of the innovative techniques recently developed with respect to diet control and is the acronym for Control Using Portions. This trademarked CUPS diet is one of the only weight control methods that employ the use of food volume to limit portion sizes. Food consumption is recorded in terms of cup measures. An individual’s Basal Metabolic Rate is the factor used to determine the approximate intake (in cups) per day.


Most diets lay restrictions on quantities consumed in terms of calories, fats, carbohydrates. This involved counting calories depending on weight measurements which was not always easy and convenient to do. In December 2003, Dr Jimmy R Mascaro formulated another simple way to evaluate daily intake, based on the food volume, using a cup size as a convenient tool to measure. He was of the opinion that one can assess intake in the form as ¼, ½, ¾ or 1 cup portion sizes. This was found to be an easy way to feel satisfied while being conscious of one’s daily intake. It could be adopted as a long-term means to sustainable weight loss.

Other factors too play a role in bringing about weight loss. This would include –

  • Cooking methods used
  • Type of foods selected
  • Setting achievable weight loss goals
  • Physical activity levels

Benefits of CUPS Diet

  1. Rather than physically using measuring cups to estimate food intake, the CUPS diet encourages the estimation of portion sizes simply by visualizing quantities in the plate.
  2. This is a procedure that is easily adhered to for long-term weight management and does not leave one feeling deprived of favourite foods either.
  3. Managing portion sizes religiously helps one to keep off the lost weight and knowledge of portion sizes will discourage one from regressing back to old eating habits that caused the weight gain to begin with.
  4. Over time it becomes easier to manage hunger and cravings
  5. Essentially this is also related to behavioural weight management which includes promoting healthy eating habits such as –
  • Selection of appropriate foods – low-fat foods instead of full fat or cream based ones
  • Eating smaller meals at a time
  • Increasing consciousness/awareness of the amounts and types of food to be eaten
  • Developing regular eating patterns and avoiding unnecessary high-calorie snacking
  • Once used to the CUPS Diet, it becomes almost impossible for one to overeat and move away from this disciplined routine. Over a period of time, following this diet simply becomes a way of life which people begin to enjoy and take pride in.

No doubt this is a slower method of weight loss but it encourages practical, healthy and consistent weight loss (only ½ to 2 pounds a week). Following this technique of weight loss helped people experience better energy levels with less of fatigue, greater success and motivation to continue with it.