Written by Kasey Boorman (Bachelor of Health Science, Nutrition)
When trying to lose weight, sometimes it is not WHAT we eat but HOW MUCH we eat. You will lose weight by simply reducing the portion size of your meals without changing the content of the meal itself.
What is a serve? Here are some examples:
Breads and cereals (choose wholegrain!)
2 slices of bread, 1 medium bread roll, ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, noodles
½ cup porridge, ½ cup breakfast cereal flakes or ¼ cup muesli
½ medium potato, ¼ medium sweet potato, ½ medium parsnip
Dark green leafy vegetables
½ cup cabbage, spinach, silverbeet, broccoli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts
Legumes and other vegetables
1 cup lettuce or salad vegetables, ½ cup broad beans, lentils, peas, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, corn, turnips, sprouts, celery, eggplant etc
1-piece medium sized fruit e.g. apple, orange, mango, mandarin, banana, pear, peach etc
2 pieces of smaller fruit e.g. apricots, kiwi fruit, plums, figs
About 8 strawberries
½ cup diced pieces or canned fruit
½ cup fruit juice
¼ medium melon (rockmelon, honeydew)
Dried fruit e.g. 4 dried apricots, 1½ tablespoons sultanas, 15 grapes (dried fruit is very high in sugar, so it is preferable to choose fresh fruit)
250 ml glass or one cup of milk, 30g (2 slices) of cheese, 200g (1 small carton) of yoghurt.
Meat and Fish
60-100g cooked meat or chicken (e.g. ½ cup mince, 2 small chops or 2 slices roast meat), 60-120g cooked fish fillet, ½ cup pink salmon with bones, or, as an alternative try:
2 small eggs, ½ cup cooked (dried) beans, lentils, chick peas, split peas or canned beans, 30g almonds
Extras Foods which we can occasionally include for variety
You can include 1 to 2 extras in your week to keep you motivated and on track.
2 extras are equivalent to: 1 medium piece of plain cake or 1 bun, 3-4 sweet biscuits, half a chocolate bar, 60g jam, honey (1 tablespoon), 30g potato chips, 2 standard glasses of alcohol (for adults only), 1 slice pizza.
Some other tips to keep in mind:
- Look at the label. It is important to look at the labels on packaged food to see what ONE serving size is for a certain product. Be careful not to look at the servings per packet amount.
- Eating out. Beware of the serving size. Over the years restaurant portions have more than doubled. How can this problem be avoided? Share your food with a friend. Get one meal between you along with a side dish. Ask for some to be put into a doggy bag before you start eating, this way you are not tempted to keep eating until your “full” alarm goes off in your brain. Ask for a half serving size – often they will accommodate you.
- Weigh your food for at least a week. You will be surprised by what you thought was a single serve! After a week of weighing your food, you will be able to estimate the correct serving size.
It is recommended that you continue to eat 5-6 times per day. Even though you are reducing your meal sizes, this does not mean you should cut out meals completely. Eating regularly will keep your blood sugar levels stable reducing headaches, mood swings and cravings, and will keep your metabolism constantly working for you.
Did you know we have Kasey our Nutritionist here at ProMed on Tuesday afternoons?