Question: Do I really need to worry about portions if I’m trying to lose weight with healthy foods or does that rule apply to only “junk” foods?
You should be sticking to a nutritious plan consisting of whole, natural foods and avoiding that processed junk that comes in colorful packaging and avoid those foods that are advertised on TV.
But here’s your answer...
YES! Even eating organic, healthy, whole, natural foods can be overindulged so portion control is a must in regards to losing weight. Just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean you can eat more.
Even if you are keeping your food shopping limited to the perimeter of the grocery store, the basic math of having to consume less calories than you expend still applies for weight loss.
Counting calories can be an annoyance, but for some, it may be a necessity until they learn portion control. Try following these portion-size guidelines to aid in keeping your healthy meal plan on track without all the calorie counting.
Fruit: Fruit is a tricky thing. Yes, it is good for you, however, it should be limited to 2 pieces per day or less due to the high sugar content, albeit it’s natural sugar, but if you are insulin resistant you need to be cautious of your sugar intake.
Berries and grapefruit are the top choices as they are low glycemic. The “sweeter” fruits (such as mangos and bananas) will hinder weight loss and should be kept to a minimum.
Sugar: Always eat the real stuff. Avoid artificial anything! As a rule stick to 5 grams of sugar or less per serving.
Nuts/Seeds: Walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, macadamia, and brazil nuts can all be nutritious snacks but they are also calorically high. Keep the portion size to what fits in the center of your palm without overlapping. This is typically about 6 to 10 almonds.
Example portion control on your almonds: Use a post-it note sheet and place your almonds on it without overlapping.
Animal proteins: Steak, chicken, turkey, pork, bison, and fish: Keep your portion roughly equal to the size and thicknesses to the palm of your hand (do not include the fingers and thumb). This amounts to about 3 to 6 ounces of meat.
Vegetables: GO GREEN! Green vegetables such as arugula, cabbage, spinach, kale, broccoli, and asparagus; eat it up! Green veggies will also help you to become less acidic, which if you are too acidic, can hinder weight loss. Vegetables that are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, do not generally need to be restricted from the “diet”.
There are a few exceptions to the rule with vegetables… carrots, yams, parsnips, pumpkin, and some of the other more “starchy” vegetables can impede weight loss when eaten in large quantities.
Starchy foods: If you are going to eat carbohydrate rich foods such as rice and potatoes, keep the portion to the size of your tightly clenched fist (about ½ cup).
Other high-carb foods should also follow this rule (or be avoided entirely) such as cereal, pasta, bread, and corn. One of the most common starchy vegetables in diets today is the potato, and it is usually consumed in the form of french fries and potato chips.
Integrity Health is a franchise company residing in New Hampshire. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health.