Health & Safety

January 25, 2013

Portion control #1 for losing weight

SHARI LOPATIN
TriWest Healthcare Alliance

You’ve changed the foods you eat to include more fruits and veggies. You’ve cut back on the soda and you’ve started exercising three times a week. And yet, you’re not losing weight … or at least, you’re not losing enough. Why? It really all boils down to two very small, but significant words: portion control.

“Many individuals are totally unaware of how much is an appropriate amount of food,” said Lynne Campagne, a registered dietitian with TriWest Healthcare Alliance.

How many calories are you really consuming each day? For example, a single serving of meat, like chicken or steak, is roughly the size of your palm. Reducing the number of calories you eat or drink can help to prevent weight gain … and promote weight loss.

And the key to controlling calories lies in portion control.

Did you know the American Diabetes Association has a tool to help you control your portions better?

It’s called “Create Your Plate,” and it focuses first on portion sizes and then food choice. Not only is it meant to help diabetics manage their condition, but it can be an effective weight-loss tool.

You can apply the basics of “Create Your Plate” easily at home. Here’s how it works:

  1. Put a line down the middle of an empty dinner plate.
  2. On one side, cut it again so you have three sections on your plate.
  3. Fill the largest section with nonstarchy veggies (i.e. green beans, spinach, mushrooms).
  4. In one of the smaller sections, place starchy foods such as whole grain breads or potatoes.
  5. Fill the other small section with meat such as chicken or salmon.
  6. Add an eight-ounce glass of low-fat milk or a six-ounce container of light yogurt.

For more healthy eating tips, visit TriWest.com/HealthyLiving.




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