May 21, 2020 by Lucette Talamas
10 Tips for Portion Control & Weight Management
About 35 percent – roughly 78.6 million — of adults in the U.S. are obese, according to Journal of American Medicine (JAMA). Obesity is linked to a variety of diseases, including different types of cancer, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, reports the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fortunately, portion control, weight-loss and good nutrition are key steps to reducing the health risks associated with excess weight.
10 Steps To Better Portion Control
Here are five ideas from Natalie Castro, R.D., (pictured), chief Wellness dietitian for corporate wellness at Baptist Health South Florida:
1. Use small plates: When serving yourself a meal or a snack, try using smaller plates.
2. Pick veggies: Load up on vegetables first. Reach for 1 cup or a large handful.
3. Measure protein: After the veggies, put protein on your plate. The amount of protein on your plate should equal the size of a deck of cards.
4. Add grains last: You can enjoy grains, but watch your serving size. It’s tempting to overdo grain selections and eat grains too often throughout the day. Limit your grain portions to ½ cup of cooked grains per meal, which is about the size of a tennis ball or baseball. Pick whole grains for more fiber.
5. Divide and conquer: Use measuring cups and spoons to divide up all snacks or foods that come in large containers. With this step, you create easy-to-grab, correctly portioned snacks in individualized containers. This helps control your portions and calories, and creates quick-and-easy, healthy snack options, especially when you are hungry and looking for something to eat. Try this strategy for servings of nuts, yogurt, cereal, hummus, veggies, fruit salad, crackers, cheese, popcorn and peanut butter.
Here are five tips from Lucette Talamas, a registered dietitian, (pictured) with Community Heath at Baptist Health South Florida:
1. Downsize creamy dishes: Reduce your portions of high-calorie foods like creamy dishes, pastas, thick salad dressings, pizza, cheesy items, fried foods and desserts. Research shows that consumers eat less high-calorie foods when served a smaller portion.
2. Ask for to-go boxes: If eating out, share a meal or ask for a to-go box at the time you get your entrée. Before eating, pack your to-go box. Remember: Even half a restaurant entrée can still be too much for one meal.
3. Use kiddie plates: If eating at home, stock your cabinets with smaller dishware to encourage smaller portions. When serving food, consider using children’s tableware or a salad plate instead of the entrée plate.
4. Think big: Enjoy generous portions of non-starchy veggies with every meal. Why? They are naturally lower in calories, have water content and are rich in fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer.
5. Make smart swaps: If eating out, ask your waiter if you can swap a side dish for a small salad (with non-creamy dressing) or for veggies (prepared without butter).