Here at Lemond Nutrition we see a wide range of nutrition products on the market that are geared for weight loss and balanced eating. As a consumer we know that it can be tricky to weed through all of the confusing messages and claims. Below is a product review I recently performed for a "visual weight control plan" called Portion Perfection. Following the review you will find a few great thoughts and tips on portion control from the Portion Perfection guide that may help you in your journey to improved health!
As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) I am always using and/or looking for practical, useful tools for helping clients change the way they think about food. The Portion Perfection tool definitely falls into that category. It is exactly what it claims to be, “a visual weight control plan.” The Portion Perfection was created by Amanda Clark, an advanced accredited practicing dietitian (Adv APD), located in Australia.
What it includes:
- A detailed, visually pleasing book explaining the basic components of a balanced diet and why each food group plays an essential role in helping meet our full nutritional needs. The book has detailed lists of foods that are “everyday” foods versus “occasional” foods and the serving sizes for each.
- A 4-week weight loss menu plan that provides simple, cost-effective recipes that are tailored for different needs; men, women, weight loss, weight maintenance or bariatric.
- Portion Perfection plate and bowl. The plate has clearly designated areas and portion breakdowns for each food group and incremental cup measurements on the side of the bowl. These are simple, yet useful tools for easily tracking measurements.
- Easy to use, no additional products you have to continue to purchase to have success
- Great for retraining our brains to focus on appropriate portions that we will continue to use long term
- 4 general calorie level requirements with recipes and portion sizes that provide a variety and balance of nutrients
- Practical advice for reading food labels and looking at foods as a whole
- Diabetic friendly in regards to balance and spacing of meals
- Encourages meeting with a registered dietitian nutritionist for specific, tailored needs
- Ideal for home- not practical for all of the time use (traveling, eating out, etc.)
- Macronutrient breakdown is not mentioned- carbohydrates, fats and protein only broken down in suggested portion sizes within meals/recipes
- Not designed for athletes or those with specific/unique nutrient requirements
As a whole, our culture has a severe case of portion distortion. We are accustomed to, and now expect large portions. We adjust our intake based on the size of plate or cup, usually not even realizing the increase in portion size or overall calorie intake. Overall, the Portion Perfection tool can help retrain our brains to understand appropriate portion sizes and how all food groups fit into a balanced lifestyle.
As a professional, I would mostly suggest this tool for someone just beginning their weight loss journey as they are learning portion sizes and how to balance their meals and snacks daily.
THOUGHTS AND TIPS ON PORTION CONTROL
We've got a case of portion distortion! Recent data from Austrailia, the US, and Europe show that we are eating 500 calories more per day than we did 20-30 years ago. 500 extra calories per day for a week leads to one pound of weight gain! So, what can we do?
- Eat Consciously, Be Aware! - While enjoying each meal condsider the presentation, variety, aroma, texture, temperature, and flavor.
- Total elimination is not the answer - with appropriate portion sizes you can enjoy all healthy foods (even carbs!) and even not so healthy options in the right quantities.
- Less and More - Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day helps stabilize our metabolism and keeps our hunger under control. Shoot for 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day.
- Decipher between "everyday" foods and "occasional foods"
It is important to remember that balanace and moderation are key to a sustainable, healthy lifestyle!