Personal Trainer Reveals Portion Sizes For Weight Loss

 Personal Trainer Reveals Portion Sizes For Weight Loss
Portion Sizes and Balancing Meals
For weight loss to be successful, your approach to eating needs to be:
- Simple
- Flexible
- Enjoyable
- Sustainable
Without these elements, trying to lose weight can be a rollercoaster ride of guilt, binge eating and negative self-talk.
Eating should always be an enjoyable experience. If you get caught up thinking about the consequences of food (eg. carbs and fat are enemy; I'm not allowed to eat that; eating this will make me fat) you will never be able to enjoy your food. Understanding portion sizes and balancing your meals is crucial for sustainable weight loss. Once you understand this, eating to lose weight will be simple, flexible, enjoyable and sustainable.
Balanced Meals
A balanced meal contains several food groups. It should satisfy your hunger/tastebuds and supply your body with vitamins and nutrients. It usually contains a portioned amount of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
To create a balanced meal, choose 1 portion from each of the food groups below:
1) Carbohydrate
2) Protein
3) Healthy fat
Portion Sizes
1) Carbohydrate Food Group:
Portion of pasta or rice: when cooked should take up ¼ of a plate or the volume of your clenched fist.
Brown/basmati rice or wholegrain pasta are low-GI options (slow release of energy helps to keep you satisfied longer and reduce the body's insulin response - high insulin levels signal the body to store fat).
Portion of bread: 2 slices from a regular loaf. If you are served bread in a café/restaurant, keep this portion size in mind while you're eating. Food can always be left on the plate.
Portion of potatoes or starchy vegetables: 1 medium size baked potato (remember volume of your fist). Sweet potatoes, beets/carrots/parsnips, squash/pumpkin, corn and peas also fall into this category. The latter options tend to be better as they have a lower GI and carbohydrate level.
Note: Hot chips (especially fried) are not a substitute for potatoes. If you decide to have hot chips, have a small hand full, eat them slowly and savour them.
Portion of legumes: Half a can or slightly larger then your fist. (eg. baked beans, chickpeas, lentils etc):
Note: This food group has a combination of carbohydrates and protein. If you are a vegetarian, this can also be a protein portion.
Portion of fruit: 1-2 medium pieces of fruit(eg. apples, pears, peaches etc.)
Note: If trying to lose weight, choose pieces of fruit that have edible skin. The skin of the fruit has added vitamins and fibre which keeps you satisfied longer than skinned fruit, fruit juice or dried fruit. This means you are less likely to overeat or reach for more food. Rather than eat this as part of a meal, I suggest eating 1-2 pieces of fruit as an afternoon snack as there is usually a 6 hour gap between lunch and dinner. By having this snack you are less likely to eat an unhealthy snack or overeat at dinner.
Non-Starchy Vegetables and Salad: While this falls under the carbohydrate category, choices such as (spinach, broccoli/cauliflower, capsicum, mushrooms, onions, herbs/garlic, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, radishes etc) are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre and contain a minute amount of carbohydrates. ½ your lunch and dinner plate should always be vegetables or salad with a preference towards the green leafy varieties. Another option is to have a small-medium bowl of home made vegetable stew which you can add vegetable or chicken stock and herbs/garlic/spices for taste. From a health viewpoint this is essential to give your body the vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants it needs. From a weight loss viewpoint the fibre and water contained in vegetables take the edge off your hunger so you can eat a smaller portion of your main meal. I recommend eating your vegetables/salad first.
2) Protein Food Group:
Portion of Lean Meat: the volume of the palm of you hand or a deck of cards. (eg. chicken breast, eye-round steak, kangaroo, lean ham, pork or any cut of meat that has little or no visible fat. Can also choose fish which has healthy omega-3 fat)
Portion of Eggs): 1-2 eggs. (Avoid the fat from frying by either boiling or poaching your eggs). Egg whites can also be used to lower the fat content. However, I would still enjoy having 1 yolk.
Portion of Low Fat Diary:
- 250mL (regular cup size) of low fat milk
- Low fat cheese: 1 pre-sliced square, 50grams or a small handful of shredded cheese.
(Cheese is more of a tasty topping than a protein portion. Due to higher fat content, keep your portion small, eat slowly and savour the taste).
- 1 x 250g tup of low fat, low sugar yogurt. eg. "Yoplait forme" or a tup that says diet.
Note: If you prefer full cream diary, half the above portions.
3) Healthy Fats (omega - 3) - often included in other foods we eat.
Portion of Nuts/Seeds: 1 small hand full.Walnuts have the highest Omega-3 ratio.
Portion of Fish: volume of the palm of you hand. (bake, grill or BBQ your fish). Fish is primarily a protein portion. However, it will also provide healthy omega-3 fats. Thefish with the highest Omega-3 content arecold water oily fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies and sardines.
Note: eating fish every day can potentially be a hazard due to the mercury content. For this reason, if you don't consume Omega-3 fats from the other food sources listed, I would recommend taking a fish oil supplement.
Portion of Avocado: ¼-1/2 an avocado. Avocado is technically a fruit but it's mainly eaten for its creamy texture and healthy fats (much better option than butter or mayonnaise). Goes well on a sandwich or in a salad.
Bread with added linseeds: If you choose bread with seeds, you may also receive some healthy fats.
Portion of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or flaxseed (linseed) oil: 1 table spoon - this can be used in cooking or as a dressing.
Putting It All Together
If we imagine a balanced meal on a plate it should have the following ration: 1/2: vegetables/salad, 1/4: lean meat, 1/4: whole grains (eg. grain bread,pasta,rice). If you regularly buy food from a café/restaurant keep in mind that their portion sizes are 2-3 times more than you need. If you feel uncomfortable leaving food on a plate, ask for a take away box. You could also share a meal with a partner/friend. If the meals on the menu don't have a good portion of salad/vegetables, order a side salad and eat a smaller amount of the main meal. Sandwiches on whole-grain bread with a protein portion and lots of salad are another good option.
When you become comfortable with correct portion sizes and balanced meals, your food options are limitless. This means you can enjoy a wide variety of foods and not feel deprived or confused by the strict rules of fad diets. This gives you the freedom to eat happily for the rest of your life while maintaining your ideal body weight. If you desire to lose weight, just record what you eat/drink for a week and gradually scale back the portion sizes. By eating the foods you enjoy (in their correct portion sizes) you create a positive relationship with food and losing weight becomes simple, flexible, enjoyable and sustainable.
The first 1-2 weeks may require some experimenting. Eating slowly, savouring the taste of your food and listening to your hunger during the meal will teach you to stop eating when satisfied (still some room left in the stomach). You may also want to try different food combinations and adjust the size of your portions until you find the balanced meals that satisfy your tastebuds and leave you feeling satisfied (not full).
Note: The portion sizes mentioned in this article are to be used as a guide only. They may need to be adjusted to suit your body size and activity levels. Palm and fist measurements are useful here as your body size in proportionate to your hand. If you have a highly active job such as labouring or regularly participate in long bouts of exercise, your portion sizes may need to be bigger. Eating slowly and listening to hunger before, during and after a meal will be your best indicator.
I wish you the best of luck with your weight loss journey. If you need help getting started or you can't seem to make progress, please contact me. I specialise in high intensity training and helping people overcome lifestyle, behaviour and mental barriers.
Eric Harkins is the owner of Eastern Suburbs Personal Training
If you would like to organise a free positive focus session with an Eastern Suburbs Personal Trainer visit our website today.
Article Source:


Post a Comment