I get the portion control thing. My doctor told me 2 years ago that I was heading for diabetes if I didn't take off 50 lbs. He stressed portion control as a means of achieving that goal. I had no idea how much I really was eating til I starting cutting portions. I watch what I eat, have cut the fat content by more than half, eat a healthy, well balanced diet and have taken off 54 lbs. in 14 months. It does work.
I miss the platter full of pasta more than anything. Eating a cup and a half of pasta is better than none at all, but I want more!! I love how I look and more than that, I love how good I feel. I excercise every day (waater aerobics or walking) and it has made a tremendous difference. You can't do this with diet alone. Excercise is very important. You can do it and you'll be so glad you did.
BTW, my mother NEVER told me to clean my plate. I did it by myself. Still do.