Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Portion Control Tips From a Successful Client

I was speaking to one of my clients the other day and she has progressed so far with the changes in her eating habits since we first met in September. I wanted to pass along some of the tips that have worked for her because she is losing weight and feeling great, so I thought these ideas would work for someone else out there!

1) The first change Lucy made was to use smaller plates in her home at dinner time. Many have extremely large dinner plates that can easily measure nearly a foot in diameter. At the time I suggested she change to smaller plates, she hesitated and said to me, "but I only put food in the middle part--not all the way out to the edges". Then she realized how much plate was still being filled as she compared the size of her usual serving plates to the smaller 'salad' plates. "I'll try using these and see how it goes," Lucy agreed. And ever since then she has been dining with the smaller ones, feeling satisfied and not stuffed.

2) The other trick Lucy tried for dinner meals was to reduce the amount of food she was cooking. "It's just me and my husband for dinner, but sometimes we cook enough for four or six people--then we just keep taking more helpings because the food is in front of us." Now she and her husband start with just enough food for two, and they both get just enough and never overeat at dinner.

3) When dining out, Lucy and her husband share a main entree with an additional order of a side salad. Or sometimes they'll each get an appetizer instead of a full meal. "They really give you so much food when you eat out, if you don't stay aware of how much you're putting away, it can be gone before you remember to ask for a take-out container!"

4) At the recent buffets Lucy has been going to around the holidays, she's come up with a couple of tips of her own that she shared with me: "Since I can't get a smaller plate wherever I go, I just leave more plate showing than I have covered!" What a great idea that is: Instead of saying to herself, "I'm at someone else's house now so I'll just fill up my plate like all the other guests," Lucy remains aware of eating reasonable portion sizes to help continue her weight loss and meet her goals. She makes sure there is plenty of space on the plate because that means it's not overflowing with food--translation--calories!

5) And the last tip she shared with me was another useful one when going through buffet lines: "I just take one spoonful of each item on the line--a spoonful of turkey, a spoonful of mashed potatoes, a spoonful of sweet potatoes, and so on. I'm not missing out on anything and it's plenty of food by the time I reach the end of the line. It's just so easy to take too much. Reminding myself to stick to one spoonful of each food works out just perfectly."

Thanks to Lucy for all the great tips, and congratulations on the 15 pounds you've shed so far!

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