Being aware of serving size and controlling portions is a key component of long term weight control. Utilizing measuring utensils, food models and visual cues are a great way to ensure you are sticking to an appropriate serving size. Filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables is a great way to increase the amount of nutrients you consume, but decrease your calorie intake. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to help keep you healthy and feeling full.
One serving size equivalent
Vegetable: 1 cup raw or cooked.
Fruit: 1 medium piece of fruit or 1 cup cubed fruit or berries
Dairy: 8 oz or 1 cup milk or yogurt
Protein: 4 oz of
meat, 1 cup cooked beans, 1 egg
Grain: 1 oz = 1 medium slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1 cup of unsweetened cereal
Fat: 1 oz avocado, 1 teaspoon oil, 1 oz nuts, 1-2 T salad dressing
Tips for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance Success
- Use a salad plate versus a dinner plate to help avoid oversized portions.
- Drink water before meals.
- Eat vegetables/nutrient dense foods first to feel full faster.
- The color of your plate matters. Blue plates tend to decrease appetite.
- Measure out favorite foods into cups, bowls, and plates used at home for a visual of what a single portion looks like. Test yourself by plating food and checking how much you served yourself.
- Evaluate your hunger! Do NOT use the “clean your plate” method to determine when to stop eating.
- Make your calories count! Limit “empty calories” from solid fats, added sugars, and alcohol.
- Take large packages and divide them into “snack” size bags to avoid eating more than one serving at a time.
- Take smaller bites. This allows your stomach to send the signal to your brain that it’s full.
- Don’t go back for second helpings
- Choose nutrient dense foods. Those are foods that are high in nutritional content but lower in calories. Fruits and vegetables are considered nutrient dense foods.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast may lead to decreased calcium and fiber intake. Also, you will tend to eat more calories later in the day, and make poor food related choices when you are hungrier.