Portion control after bariatric surgery is a word that is frequently heard in the weight loss industry. Like any doctor or nutritionist will tell you, you cannot successfully lose weight without limiting the amount of food you consume during each meal. Although the right portion size is different for every individual depending on your height, weight, gender, and activity level, it is important to actively practice moderation and portion control in order to effectively lose weight and keep the weight off.
Portion control is a very important piece of a healthy diet. Reducing even a small number of calories a day will contribute to weight loss over several months, especially if you increase your physical activity at the same time.
Portion control can be a hard thing to do in today’s world that is full of All-You-Can-Eat Buffets and $1 Large Sodas at McDonald’s. Even when we eat at home, our plates are unusually bigger than required. However, with a few simple tips you can be on your way to understanding how to measure the appropriate portions and eating your weight…off! Let me help you PLAN your portions and overcome this challenge!
Follow these principles:
- Pack your lunch
- Eat a variety of foods in smaller portions [NO to seconds]
- Stop eating right before bedtime [rule of thumb 3 hours before bedtime]
- Concentrate on protein first, then fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Cut back on carbohydrates, pasta, and bread
Get your portions under control!
For some, sudden change can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to achieve. For others, gradual change is troublesome, and going “cold turkey” is the only way to achieve your goal. If you aren’t the “cold turkey” type, then read more about how to gradually make the change!
STEP 1- Hide the large plates.
STEP 2- Get portion control plates or a smaller equivalent [use measuring cups, your hand, or a meal portion control tray to guide your portions].
Stop snacking on “junk food” or candy. It’s much better to substitute small pieces of fruit instead. Snacks should be less than 100 calories, such as mozzarella sticks, small nonfat yogurt, or a slice of turkey!
So, what should my plate actually look like?
Most health sites will tell you to follow the 50/25/25 rule, meaning divide your portions by having 50% of your meal be vegetables, 25% be protein and 25% be starchy vegetables or carbohydrates. However, Bariatric Centers of America clinics preach the 60/40 rule, meaning cover your plate with about 60% protein and 40% green vegetables.
But what about the carbs?
Most of our patients are about losing weight, ridding themselves of diabetes and other health-related diseases, and ultimately leading a healthy lifestyle. Protein is the building blocks for our body, but it also stimulates hormones that subdue hunger. Therefore, by filling up on proteins and low-carb, low-calorie, and high-fiber vegetables, you can ensure you will stay full for longer while fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.
Although most nutritionists may claim that carbs are an essential form of energy for the body, we find that most of bariatric patients are able to meet an appropriate daily carbohydrate goal that will allow them to feel energized while losing weight.
Key takeaway points on portion control:
- Eat healthy food choices [protein-vegetables-fruit-whole grain]
- Portion Control [use a portion control plate or measuring cups]
- Eat 5 small meals a day [breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner
- Eat slow [take a least 20 minutes]
- Exercise [4 to 6 hours a week]
This article was originally published on the Bariatric Centers of America website.