Recently, I had a patient who stated he was eating one serving of cereal a day and accurate portions of food for lunch and dinner, yet he was not losing weight. After admitting that he had never actually measured out his morning cereal, I asked him to do so and report back to me. To his surprise, he was eating 10 servings of cereal every morning!
So what do you do if you are used to large portions and you trying to lose weight? To go from 10 servings right down to one serving would have been impossible and this man would have been hungry causing increased snacking. Following these simple steps, will get your portions under control quicky:
- For your first week, measure each food you eat so that you know how many servings you are eating. You will quickly learn how big a portion is and no longer need to measue.
- If your portions are more than 2 servings, you will need to decrease the size slowly, by 1 serving every 2 days. If you are eating 2 servings or close to 1 serving, as noted below, then reduce your portion to 1 serving.
- Check out this list of normal portion sizes to give you an idea:
Protein (chicken, meat, etc) – the size of your palm or 3 ounces
Carbohydrates (pasta, rice, potatoes) – 1 cup as a main course (size of a baseball), ½ cup as a side dish
Vegetables – no limit
Snacks – one item that is 100 calories or less
To help resist temptation, serve meals on small plates and leave the food on the stove top. When food is served buffet style, you will tend to eat larger portions. Eating a clear broth soup or a salad 30-60 minutes before a meal will help keep portion sizes down as well.
Dr. Jill Sharon, of Fresh Future Weight Management Program, is a Board Certified Physician in Obesity Medicine. She helps her patients achieve their weight loss goal through an individualized nutrition & fitness program. Most insurances accepted. www.freshfuture.net (732) 409-1446