menopause diet blog

Time for a Change

Day 9 Portion Control

on June 15, 2013

Even if you are eating healthily and cutting out sugary snacks between meals, it is still possible to eat more calories than you consume and therefore fail to lose (or even continue to put on) weight. At the end of the day, whatever fancy diet you are following, you only lose weight if you eat less calories than you are burning up.

Now I’m not into calorie counting, although there was a time when I counted calories and pretty much knew the calorific value of every common food item (and it does work) but it was a long time ago and, frankly, I can’t be bothered to go that route this time. I believe that eating healthy, low GI foods and controlling both your portion size and composition will do the trick.

One useful tool to help you is the portion control plate. You can actually buy a plate like this to use but it is not necessasy. Just visualising it at home will do the trick too, although, as my friend pointed out “Ah, but it doesn’t know how high you pile the food up!” We laughed over the idea of a Jenga tower of french fries occupying the ‘starch’ quarter of the plate.

portion control plate

So here are my tips for keeping portion size under control and speeding up weight loss:

  1. Use a moderate sized plate and allocate half for vegetables, a quarter for starch/carbs and a quarter for protein.
  2. Learn what a portion of protein and carbs looks like – a serving of protein is about the size of a deck of cards or a mobile phone and a serving of starch/carbs is about the size of a tennis ball or your clenched fist. What is the serving size for vegetables? THERE IS NO LIMIT!!! Eat as much vegetables as you like!
  3. Traditionally we think of meat as the main part of the meal with the carbs and veg as ‘sides’. Turn it on its head, and instead, think of the vegetables as the main part of the meal with the carbs and protein as ‘sides’.
  4. Try to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day by not leaving it too long between meals and eating healthy snacks, if needed. Getting too hungry at meal times will inevitably lead to poor portion control.
  5. Eat slowly and focus on your food, chewing each mouthful slowly and savouring it. Don’t eat while multi-tasking as this easily leads to overeating.
  6. Remember your eyes are usually bigger than your stomach. Put less on your plate than you think you will need and you will be surprised how little is needed to feel satisfied.
  7. Since the 1930s scientists have known that lab animals fed on a highly nutritious but restricted calorie diet live longer. One old man of 115 who died recently advised ‘only eat until you are 80% full’. Remember too, that as you age, you need less calories.

Food Diary – Day 9:

Breakfast: Menopause Meusli – see Breakfast Recipe page

Lunch: Chicken Soup and bread (no butter or spread) – see Lunch Recipe page

chicken & sweet potato soup

Dinner: I wasn’t very hungry and I did have a huge bowl of soup earlier so I just had a slice of Menopause Cake spread with tahini

Drinks and Snacks: Herbal tea, 3 squares dark chocolate

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