Simple portion control basics for weight loss

16th April 2014

Simple portion control basics for weight loss

Monitoring portion sizes has to be top of the list of healthy upgrades after WLS – we all love food and so we’re tempted to eat too much of it. Portion control is therefore critical to getting a healthy diet and slim waistline.

Plate and cutlery on a red table

It’s so easy to underestimate the amount we eat and portion sizes as well as plate sizes have increased dramatically which doesn’t help to keep things in check.

Just remember the following portion control basics for weight loss to help stay on track.

  • Firstly it’s important to understand the difference between a portion and a serving. They’re not the same! A portion is the amount we choose to consume, whilst a serving is the recommended amount of food we should eat based on the nutrition facts label. So, when choosing your portions, try to make them similar or smaller to the recommended serving size, not greater than.
  • A bariatric portion plate of about 17-18 cm/6½-7 inches in diameter (and not to be confused with a regular or slimming portion plate) should be filled in the following way:

Fill half of the plate with lean protein. By protein we mean meat, fish, poultry, game, eggs, low-fat cheese, pulses, lentils, nuts and vegetarian options like soy protein, Quorn and tofu.

Fill a quarter of the plate with vegetables or salad.

Fill a quarter of the plate with starchy foods like rice, pasta, potatoes, coucous, bread and other grains. Ideally choose whole wheat or wholemeal varieties that have more fibre.

Here are also some visual clues and comparisons so that you can eyeball portion sizes:

  • a small serving of meat and fish is about the size of a pack or deck of cards
  • a medium sweet potato or ordinary jacket potato (along with a small portion of other starchy vegetable) should be no bigger than a computer mouse
  • a medium-sized fruit like an apple should be about the size of a tennis ball
  • a small portion of peanut butter shouldn’t be any bigger than a ping pong ball
  • a portion of cheese should be no larger than 3 dice

And remember that eating slowly and mindfully can also keep portion sizes in check!

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