The Clean Plate Syndrome
- First and foremost, the easiest way to portion size for yourself is to read the lable. If a box of cereal says that one portion is 1/2 cup, stick to that. And don’t make yourself crazy by getting out all of the measuring cups. Eyeball it. Use the smallest bowl in your cabinet. If 1 serving isn’t enough (or doesn’t fill you up) add something else or have another serving (same size as the first).
- Do the same with chips, crackers, drinks (some bottled beverages make you think it’s one serving for the entire bottle but really, it’s 2 servings), and any other processed foods. Look at the label and try to eat the servings allotted for the calories listed. It will DEFINITELY help you cut back on your calorie intake and you won’t overeat as easily.
- Protein – Use the palm of your hand as a guideline for how large and thick your protein should be (red meat, chicken, turkey, pork). It may seem small but that is about 3 oz. which is ONE serving. You should really have no more than 6 oz. of lean protein per meal.
- Whole Grains/Fruit/Veggies - Your clenched fist equals about 1 cup. This is appropriate for veggies and fruit. Strive for 1/2 cup for whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, couscous, whole wheat pasta).
- When making your plate, think of it as a “smiley face”. The two “eyes” are small – use that for your protein and whole grains. The “smile” is the biggest part. Use that for your veggies.
- Try not to have seconds. If you are hungry after you finish your plate, wait. It takes about 20 Minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full. If you have waited a little bit and are still hungry, make sure your 2nd helping portion is smaller than the first. Most importantly, eat slowly. This will also prevent you from overeating.
Know that restaurants are the devil when it comes to portion sizes. Their motto is “the bigger, the better”. Eat HALF of what they give you. Easy on the bread basket, chips, and any appetizers brought to you before your meal.
All in all, don’t feel that you need to “clean your plate” (no matter who you need to please – just take less). We want to eradicate that word from our daily vocabulary and only eat until we feel full with the proper portion sizes for our bodies. The smaller the better. This is one of the easiest ways to jump start the weight loss process.
Less is More!!!
In health and happiness,