It’s pretty likely you’ve heard the overwhelming public outcry over—well—overwhelming portion sizes. Movies like Supersize Me! and the recent bestseller Mindless Eating both show convincingly how ‘portion distortion’ contributes to obesity. You may wonder how well you’re able to manage your portions given how large average serving sizes have become.
Lucky for you, your Center for Medical Weight Loss (CMWL) program makes keeping track of portion sizes simple for many meals. However, for those meals you’re preparing yourself, keeping an eye on portion size is key for losing the weight now and for keeping it off in the future.
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Unfortunately, the food and restaurant industries don’t make this easy for you. In fact, it’s downright hard when the servings you’re given are more appropriate for a team of sumo wrestlers fueling up for their next fight. You can win at the portion size game, though, and watch your medical weight loss program become even more effective. Here are three easy tips to do just that:
- Use the ‘Plate Method.’ Long employed by nutritionists and dietitians, this simple technique makes portion sizing your dinner meal a snap. First, mentally divide your plate in half. On half of your plate, put steamed or raw veggies. For the other half, mentally divide it in half again. On the remaining areas (each a quarter of your plate), place your starch (ideally a whole grain like brown rice) and lean protein like grilled meat, fish, or chicken. This quick and easy method makes it tough to overeat the foods that can pile on the pounds and easy to eat enough of the good stuff, like veggies.
- Break Out Your Tupperware. Savvy chefs know that the most efficient way to cook is to do it in bulk just a few times a week, and let leftovers take care of the rest. Another big benefit of this approach? It puts you in control of portion sizes, too. The next time you make that low-fat quiche, first cut the whole thing into portion sizes appropriate for your CMWL modified plan. Then, place each leftover serving into a single-size container and freeze it. Voila! Easy instant dinners, in a perfect portion size for your medical weight loss program.
- Become a Good Eyeballer. Most of us know that a serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards, and a bagel should be no larger than a CD. But what about meals? This is where a trip down your grocery store’s frozen foods aisle can be helpful. The truth is, there’s no magic to the Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice frozen entrees—the reason they’re low in calories and can help with weight loss is because they are small. And they can be a great educational tool for you. That’s because these are generally the portion sizes you should be eating if you want to lose weight and keep it off. So, the next time you’re shopping, take a look at a few of them. Mainly, look at the size of the box. Remember that size the next time you’re serving yourself dinner. Whatever you’re eating, only give yourself as much as would fit into that frozen food box. This tip can help you enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals while knowing you’re managing portion sizes, too.
Learn more ways to decode the menu when you dine out.
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