Portioning Food for Weight Loss

stephanieauthement Healthy Eating, Nutrition

Facebook and Instagram always has an advertisement for some pill, wrap, shake, or other item that will quickly get your weight off if you use it. Is this true? Is there this one thing you can do to lose weight? Here’s an explanation on how to lose weight and KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF.

Most people will say that to lose weight they have to eat more fruits and vegetables. In a sense you would be right but also wrong. If you continue eating all the unhealthy food you eat now AND start eating fruits and vegetables, you’ll start gaining weight. Almost anything you put in your mouth – besides water – has calories. Calories add up throughout the day until you are eating more than your body needs.

The way to weight loss is to cut back on the unhealthy foods and replace them with better foods. But with all of the media saying certain foods are bad and that we should avoid CARBS (See my post here on carbs) or that we should use certain pills, exercise, shakes, etc. This list could go on and on. I’ve been approached by so many people to sell different products that “work.”

Here is my words of advice to you: If someone tells you that there is a quick fix, the product doesn’t work. I recently had a patient come in with Shredz powder that helps lose weight. Upon reading the label, the #1 ingredient – CAFFEINE. So that product gave you more “energy” to get more active. This doesn’t promote weight loss. Let’s talk about EVERYONE’S favorite drug of choice to lose weight – ADIPEX. Doctors are notorious for handing this out like it’s candy to clients that want to lose weight. This pill will help you lose weight, but once you get off of it, you’ll gain even more weight.

Why does this happen? So many people have asked that question. Are you ready for it? If you don’t change your eating habits, you’ll only keep gaining weight. No matter what program you try, your weight will never change if you don’t change what you eat. That’s the simple truth. In fact, if you look at ANY weight loss product, they have in super tiny print, ***Use this with a healthy diet plan and exercise to achieve maximal results*** (Okay so that’s not the actual line, but it’s something quite similar).

I’m a realistic person, even when it comes to being a dietitian. We all make mistakes sometimes, especially with what we eat, but when we make those same mistakes day after day – that’s when it becomes a lifestyle. Drinking that high calorie, high sugar soda does not benefit your body. You are only hurting your teeth and digestive system. By eating lots of fried food, your stomach and body aren’t digesting that well. There are so many things out there that we can eat that are not doing our bodies any good.

#1 So let’s talk about things you SHOULD do. You SHOULD eat more lean meats that are NOT fried. What is a lean meat? A lean meat is a fish, turkey, chicken, pork, and even lean beef. So when you get most of these types of meat, you will have a big, nice piece of fat and skin. This has to be cut off and thrown away. Whenever you buy ground meat – choose the leanest possible meat. This would be 95/5 or 93/7. If you have ever been in a grocery store, you know that the meat that is typically on sale is the 80/20 or 75/25. These are the pinkish in color ones. You should choose the 93/7 meat instead. And always, always, always drain ALL of the melted fat off.

#2 Eat more vegetables. So at this point, I’m sure most people have seen MyPlate and know that 1/4 of your plate should be lean protein, 1/4 healthy carbs. and 1/2 fruits and veggies. This is the perfect example of what your plate should look like. And no! It doesn’t only have to be a salad. For some reason, the media has portrayed grilled chicken and a salad as the “Ultimate weight loss meal.” You can have other vegetables besides a salad. For example, you can mix tomatoes and cucumbers together or have broccoli with carrots. Mixing up your vegetables helps keep you eating the right way and provides different nutrients and gives you variety in your life. Now, when I say eat more vegetables, I’m not talking fried vegetables. Once you fry anything, it becomes the worst thing for you.

#3 You’ll see my post about carbs up above, but you should always try to choose healthy carbs. This would be things like brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. This should be no bigger than the size of your fist (1/2-1 cup of pasta or rice). Notice that this should be 1/4 of your plate. This is not a lot of carbs. so we wouldn’t have an entire plate of spaghetti and noodles. It would look more like 1/4 plate of noodles, 1/4 plate sauce (obviously combined) with 1/2 plate green beans.


This is the plate that I am talking about – see how I have carbs covering 1/4 of the plate, protein 1/4 of the plate, and fruits & veggies covering 1/2 of the plate. This is what your plate should look like at every meal.

I love eating salads, but a salad can easily go from being your best friend to your worst enemy. Chili’s restaurant has this AMAZING terrible-for-you quesadilla explosion salad. If you’ve never eaten it, do NOT. If you have, don’t do it again. You have been warned! That lovely salad has 1430 calories. This comes straight from Chili’s website. So what’s in the salad: grilled chicken breast, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, corn and black bean salsa, lettuce, crispy tortilla strips, ranch & balsamic dressing, and last but not least 3 cheese quesadillas. Wow. So let’s dissect this for a minute. You have three forms of protein, 3 carbs, and at least 2 servings of vegetables. The dressing does not help either.

My point here is that adding creamy dressings, cheese, croutons, meats, eggs, bacon bits, and any other extras to a salad make a low-calorie option turn into a very bad, unhealthy option. When you make a salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, asparagus, and carrots. That with very little lite Italian dressing is a really good salad and a great way to have less calories.

The major key to weight loss is watching the portion sizes of your meals and the types of food you eat. And this isn’t just to lose weight, but to MAINTAIN that weight loss, you will always have to watch what you eat. I hate the term diet because of this. A diet is a short-term thing, while a lifestyle change is forever.

Post your comments or questions below! Wait for my next post about how exercise plays a role in your weight!