The average American consumes about 150 more calories each day compared to 20 years ago. That may not seem like a big difference, but over a year those extra calories can add up to extra weight. This increase in calories comes from larger portions and the supersizing of foods and beverages.
The trend for larger portions started in restaurants to attract consumers but, over time, even at home, people started eating and drinking more. While the average dinner plate in 1970 measured only 10 inches in diameter, today it’s closer to 12 inches. Juice glasses then were a mere four ounces; today it’s hard to find glassware that holds less than eight ounces. So what does this mean for you and your desire to manage your weight? It means outsmarting the restaurants who entice you to eat more and gaining awareness about the portions of food that are right for your caloric needs. Following these guidelines can help you maintain a healthy weight over time. https:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447051/
The portion sizes you eat will depend on your unique needs:
• Your height and weight: Large, tall people require more calories than short, small people.
• Your health status: People with wounds or certain illnesses may require more calories and nutrients.
• Your activity level: The more active you are, the more calories you can eat with less chance of weight regain.
• Your stage of life: Children and pregnant women require more calories and nutrients; older adults may need less calories depending on their activity level.
Your OPTIFAST® Program staff will help you determine your calorie needs and give you a meal plan for the maintenance phase of the program. You can also visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov, which offers personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan your food choices based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
1. Follow your meal plan and eat at regular times. It’s easier to be satisfied with smaller portions if you’re eating regularly and not skipping meals.
2. Leave the large packages at the store (except for vegetables and fruits!). Research shows we consume more food from larger containers resulting in overeating. If you do buy supersized packages of food, repackage and store them in smaller containers.
3. Honor your body’s cues. Your body’s signals of hunger and fullness can help you eat the right amount of food for you.
4. Use smaller dishes, glasses, and serving spoons to help keep your portions smaller.
5. Prepare less food so you have fewer leftovers. Place leftovers in single-serve containers and freeze or use for a meal the next day.
6. Plate your food in the kitchen. Skip the serving bowls on the table except for the salad and vegetables. If people want seconds, they’re more likely to eat the lower calorie options on the table. A study at Cornell University showed that keeping serving dishes off the table reduced calories eaten at meals by 20–30%!*
7. Make mealtime pleasurable. Keep conversations non-confrontational, play soothing music, and bring out your candles and cloth napkins.
8. Start with small servings and wait 20 minutes for seconds. It takes about that long for your brain to get the signal that you’re full.
9. Embrace the Japanese tradition of “hari hachi bu”, only eating until you’re 80% full. That means stopping as soon as you are no longer hungry, but before you start feeling full.
10. Plate all your meals and snacks and then sit down at a table to eat. That means no more eating out of containers, munching at the kitchen counter, or snacking on the sofa.
11. Plan in advance what you’re going to order at a restaurant. You can view menus of many restaurants on their websites. Have a small snack such as yogurt or an OPTIFAST® shake or bar before you go so you’re not starving.
12. Go small or share. Consider ordering “small plates,” healthy appetizers, children’s or senior meals, or splitting an entrée or dessert with a dining companion to keep the portions more reasonable.
13. Ask the server to bring a take-out container with your meal. Put half of your food in the container and take it home for another meal.
14. The salt shaker can be your ally. If you don’t want to take a container with you but you don’t want to eat all the food on your plate, push the food you don’t want to eat to one side. Then heavily salt that food, essentially making it inedible! This is a very effective technique to keep you from picking at the leftover food on your plate.
15. As soon as you’re done eating, place your open napkin over your plate. This is a visual reminder to yourself that you are done, and if you’re in a restaurant it alerts the server to remove your plate.
Just Enough For You: About Food Portions.
Controlling your weight calls for more than just choosing a healthy variety of foods. It also calls for looking at how much and how often you eat. This site from the National Institutes of Health shows you how to use serving sizes to help you eat just enough for you.
Secrets of Healthy Eating and Portion Control.
Our eating habits need help. Fast food, high-calorie desserts, sweet drinks, and more have filled us up—and out. Most adults and 1 in 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. Changing the way you eat can be easy. To start, learn about some of the worst food offenders and how to replace them with healthier choices. Then try some portion- control tricks.
Portion Control for Weight Loss.
Portion size matters. Research has shown people consistently eat more food when offered larger portions. Use common visual cues to remind yourself of appropriate serving sizes using everyday objects for comparison.
OPTIFAST® Program materials may not be reproduced in any form without the prior permission of Nestlé Health Care Nutrition, Inc.
All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland. ©2017 Nestlé. All rights reserved. OPTI-11281-1017
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Optifast VLCD is a food for special medical purposes and must be used under the supervision of a health care professional.