Guilt Free Portioning- Eat Everything on Your Plate:
This blog post was written by Amanda Clark, an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian with over 25 years experience. She is the creator of Portion Perfection, a set of innovative visual tools that make portion control easier!
Eat everything on your plate – guilt free
“I’m so full, I should’ve stopped eating 5 minutes ago”. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Despite your meal looking a little too large when it arrived, everything has been eaten and you’re left with a rising sense of guilt and a promise to make up for it by only eating celery sticks the next day.
Research shows that the more you put on your plate the more you will eat, but this increase in food actually leads to dissatisfaction. Why then do we have a tendency to fill our plates if it doesn’t make us satisfied? The reasons are varied and differ from person to person, but external factors like food portions in restaurants and pre-packaged meals are making it easy to lose perspective when it comes to knowing how much an ideal portion size is.
Here are a few simple ways to become aware of portion sizes so you can eat everything on your plate guilt free.
1. Segment your plate
Divide your plate into the following sections:
1 Half – Salads and low starch vegetables e.g. tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, peppers, turnip.
1 Quarter – Protein foods e.g. lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, tofu.
1 Quarter – Low GI carbohydrates e.g. sweet potato, pasta, rice noodles, quinoa, basmati rice.
1 tablespoon – Low fat sauce or dressings e.g., bbq, soy, sweet chilli, chilli or 1tsp oil.
2. Prepare nutritionally balanced meals for your weight goals
A meal for weight maintenance ideally contains 400-450 calories. Examples of meals within this range include for women:
- 2 cups of ravioli in a light sauce (420 Cals) + 2 cups salad (30 Cals)
- 4 oz roast meat (200 Cals) + 2 cups non-starch vegetables (30 Cals) + 1 cup roast vegetables (200 Cals) + 1 Tbsp gravy (20 Cals)
A snack for weight maintenance contains 200 calories. An everyday snack could be:
- Corn or grain crisps (1.3 oz)
- Greek yogurt and fruit (6.7 fl oz)
- A fat-free cappuccino (12 fl oz) + 1 slice banana bread
3. Divide your food evenly throughout the day
To make best use of your metabolism the aim is to not become excessively hungry, which can result in poor food decisions. As a guide have 3 meals and 3 snacks each day. If this doesn’t suit you, add the snacks evenly to the meals, don’t keep the extra calories until the evening.
If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! You can download our free 7 day menu plan, it will help you understand how to plan your food based on portions and nutritional value, there are also some easy to follow recipes!