Scaling down the dress size, waist size ultimately comes down to portion size. Portion size of your plate is as important as its content. Serving size in America has gone up tremendously, so is our waistline. When the serving size goes up the caloric content of a meal also goes up. Just for comparison, calories in a serving of French fries in 1980’s was 210 Vs 610 currently. A slice of pizza jumped from 500 calories in the 80’s to 850 calories at present time! Downsizing the portion will in turn decrease your caloric intake and it will be the first step towards eating healthy. You may ask” What is a right portion size? Will I be able to follow it? “The answer is “yes”. It is all in your hands… literally! A simple guide to portion size is with your hands.
- According to USDA recommendation, it is important to include all food groups in your diet which includes vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, meat/legumes
- choose a 9″ plate
- Divide it into 2 equal parts
- One half of the plate for the fruits and vegetables.
- Fruits includes all fresh, frozen and dried fruits: examples oranges, raisins, grapes, bananas.
- Veggies can be divided into a few sub-groups namely green leafy/red-orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes and other vegetables.
- Starchy vegetables are the potatoes, corn, plantains and green peas. Limit its intake to 2 cups/week.
- The other half of the plate should be divided equally between whole grains and protein
- Protein food are seafood, poultry, red meat, soy products, and legumes.
- Legumes include kidney beans, white beans, black beans, chick peas, split peas and all other lentils. They are the meat substitute and main source of protein for vegetarians.
- Grains are divided into whole grains and refined grains. Whole grain products are whole-wheat bread, cereals, quinoa, oatmeal, popcorn and brown rice. Refined grain products are white bread, white rice, pasta. It is good to limit the intake of refined grains.
- Include at least 3 cups equivalent of dairy products per day like fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy milk to get adequate calcium intake
- Limit the intake of added sugar and saturated fat like butter, coconut oil, whole milk to less than 10% of total caloric intake per day.