My team and I have created some seriously fantastic portion control plates that will be super useful for your audience. Here's how to use them...
(If you don't have the special new plates, don't despair! Your clients can simply grab a 9- or 10-inch plate for their meals, then use two lines of sauce to divide the plates evenly into four quadrants. With that, you'll have all the tools you need for these lessons).
- Use the portion control plates to guide your choices by filling the four quadrants with four different food groups: grains, protein, vegetables, and fruit.
- Filling half the plate with fruits and veggies (by putting fruits in one quadrant and vegetables in another) increases fiber and lowers calories. That way, you get to eat the same amount of food but with more health benefits.
- If you don't want to use fruit in a quadrant, put vegetables in two quadrants.
- Filling a quarter of the plate with lean protein keeps you feeling full with lower fat, lower budget (lean protein can be cheap!), better health, and just the right amount of protein for your body.
- Filling a quadrant with whole grains or starch gives your body fuel and fiber.
- Remember, serve a glass of milk or water on the side with your meal. This is a great way to hydrate without empty calories (and, in the case of milk, boosting the protein and calcium content of your meal).
By using this portion control resource and following the guidelines above, you will bring the average calories for a meal to around 400... total! That's perfect if you're eating three meals and snacks per day. If you use this plate for each meal and augment those meals with two small 200-calorie snacks, you'll get about 1600 calories per day.
For best health and weight management, be sure to follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans as well.
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As a grand finale to this post, here's a downloadable handout with five easy steps for better eating patterns and lifestyle choices...