Portion Control Done On the Plate

I am a visual eater. I love the look of food sitting on the plate. I like vibrant colors of the food playing off of the plate. It excites me to eat my dinner, lunch – whatever. Our parents and grandparents most likely told you what they told me when we took too much food: you are eating with your eyes, not your stomach. This is another way of visual eating. The food looks appealing so we just grab and grab some more until the plate is full. This is very bad for us as it causes you to overeat. Our stomachs cannot hold that much food and, as a result, it expands so it can adapt.

Do not fear though. There are methods, tip and tricks that I will share with you in order to negate the old adage of eyes bigger than your stomach. It is known as the “Plate Method” or the “Clock Method”. This was designed by nutritionists as an easy way for a person to properly eat without memorizing food charts and all of that. It is very simple and filled with common sense, real world wisdom. Your stomach will be much obliged as will your pocket book – stopping yourself from all those visits to the doctor or the pharmacy to pick up antacids.

Begin by getting out one of your plates that you normally will use for dinner. Visualize it looking like the face of the clock with just the hour hands. Most dinners will consist of a protein – your ham slice, chicken, fish, and pork – whatever. It will also consist of a starch like rice or potatoes then sometimes one or two vegetables to round it out.  Fill your plate from noon to six with non-starch items. In short – begin with the vegetables. This makes your plate half vegetable. If you do not like many vegetables or tire easily of the same thing then make a vegetable medley instead of just one or two items. Also change the way how you prepare them. Steam them one night, sauté another.

From about six to eight is where you will want to put your starch. This is a little less than one fourth of the plate and you do not need much starch to live. A spoonful or two of mashed potatoes can more than suffice. And do not cheat this by going up instead of out. What I mean by this is do not make a mound of mashes potatoes that resemble the Washington Monument.

The majority of the remaining portion will be your protein. Choose a meat that it high in protein but low in fat. Chicken, turkey, pork and fish are great choices. A nice lean steak also works quite well. In order to maintain the food pyramid you will need to use some sort of healthy fat like a nut or olive oil. This can be in the preparation of the food itself – the vegetable, starch or protein. Get creative and try out new foods. These fats can really dress up a dull vegetable medley and allow you to sauté when you thought you could not. Do not go overboard though as too many fats are not good for you.

Basically – if you eat with your eyes then this method of portion control is right up your alley. If you like a lot of food you will most likely eat a lot of food – that is fine if it is the right food. The plate or clock method is probably the best bet for you to eat healthier as well as learn what foods are better for you.

The great thing about this method is that it is suitable to incorporate with any diet, eating program and weight loss regiment. It is all about keeping portions down while eating the right things. This will allow you to lose weight the right way and teach your children how to do the same thing. The food pyramid can be utterly confusing – this way you can show the pyramid in a real world way.

What have you got to lose? Give it a shot for a few weeks. If you want more convincing spend a week writing down what you have been eating. Go back and reexamine it – you will see all of the bad stuff you are ingesting. You will quickly change your mind about the plate method and hop on board straight away. This method is transportable – even in tough settings like grandma’s for holiday supper or at the local buffet.

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4 Comment(s)

Awesome way to internalize what you should be eating. So simple.
By: jlj 12 years ago
Useful info. Will be doing this from now on.
By: Stripe 12 years ago
Very good information, i am going to try this plate/clock method, it seems that i was giving too much room on the plate for the carbohydrate, i was giving from 6-9 instead of 6-8 o'clock, thanks again
By: seahorse 13 years ago
Good article posted by.... By this way we ensure both qnty as well as quality food to be intake..
By: Vasavi 13 years ago

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