It often seems that no matter how much you count points or calories, or get your head around carbs and protein, sometimes you just can’t seem to shed that extra weight. We know, we have been there! The breakthrough for us was getting our head around portion sizes: how much food we were putting on our plate every meal, every day. Once we understood how much we should be eating, everything else seemed to fall into place and we were able to get our diet under control. If you are experiencing this right now, check out our top ten tips to understanding correct portion sizes.
- if you have those large ‘ eat all you can’ dinner plates, put them away and buy yourself some regular-sized plates to use. The reason is simple. You WILL fill that plate, so far better to reduce the plate size first.
- when working out how much protein should be on your plate, look at your hand! We worked out that the size of our palm roughly equated to about one-quarter of our plate and we found that worked very well for us. Anything bigger was too much.
- because you are eating smaller sizes, try to buy the best lean protein you can. A fatty piece of pork will obviously be less healthy than lean lamb.
- Look at your hand again for carbs and use about the same amount as you did for the protein. Rather than just having all potatoes for example, try to include a good variety of carbs such as rice, quinoa, and pasta so you get the full range of essential vitamins and minerals.
- one cup of fresh vegetables should round out your plate and again you should try to bring variety to your plate with a good mix of what is available and in season.
- be careful with anything else you add such as butter, mayo, or oils, and try to keep it down to a minimum. We found that no more than a level teaspoon (in total) worked for us.
- when looking for breakfast, lunch and snack ideas, we found it was far better to make your own when possible, rather than to buy processed food.. Check the Internet for yummy and healthy quinoa muffins. They are great for a healthy lunch or snack and the portion size is already set for you. One cup of fruit or half a cup of homemade granola is great for breakfast.
- if you do buy ready-made foods, be sure to carefully read the labels and understand what is being included in the mix. For example, you might think a shop-bought muesli bar is a healthy choice – until you check the range of ingredients and see the amount of added sugar, fat, and salt. Make your own and you can better gauge the correct portion size of all ingredients being included.
- avoid takeaway food if at all possible, but if you must partake then remember to included it in your daily calorie/points count. You can’t just ignore it and hope that added fat and carbs just disappear overnight. They wont! So just realise if you blow 800 calories in a takeaway lunch, your options for the rest of the day are very limited.
- our greatest go-to snack ideas are a small bowl of fresh seasonal fruit (which we cut up in advance so it is always available ), a handful of unsalted mixed nuts, one small homemade fruit and nut muffin (we make them in bulk and freeze them until needed), or one cup of quality yogurt.
If you have any further tips of getting portion sizes under control we would love to know, so please drop a comment below to share with our readers. Attached is a link to a wonderful download to assist you further, and we do recommend you speak to your medical professional or dietitian for professional advice to assist you if required.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure.