Most people have problems with portion control. Maybe it’s because they’re used to seeing big portions when they go out to restaurants or because everything is super-sized these days. Given the opportunity to fill their own plate, most people will add too much and once they’ve dished it out, they’ll eat every last morsel. No wonder there’s an obesity epidemic.
To solve the problem of portion control, some companies offer portion-control plates that show how large a portion size should be. These plates are divided into partitions with one section for fruits and vegetables and two smaller slots for whole grains and meat. It takes the guesswork out of filling a plate and reduces the risk of overeating. It’s as simple as placing the appropriate type and amount of food in the slots. Can something like this really help you lose weight?
Portion Control Plates for Weight Loss: Do They Work?
According to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, portion control plates help with weight management. When researchers gave 130 obese people with type 2 diabetes a portion control plate or a regular plate to use for 6 months, the group who ate from the portioned plate lost significantly more weight than those who dined from a standard plate.
So effective are these plates for controlling portion sizes that many dieticians are using them with their clients. The American Institute for Cancer Research has even developed a portion control placemat in an effort to get Americans to eat healthier to lower their risk of cancer.
Other Ways to Be Satisfied with Smaller Portions
If you don’t want to buy a portion control plate, switch your big plates for smaller ones. When you use a smaller plate it gives the illusion that you’re getting more food. Divide the small plate into thirds, and place lean protein into one portion and whole grains and fruits and vegetables into the other two.
When you choose your plate color make it blue. Research shows that people feel less hungry when they eat off of a blue plate. The exact opposite is true when you use a red plate. Keep bowls and plates of food off the table so it’s not too easy to reach for more. Start your meal with a bowl of broth-based soup or a salad. High-volume foods like this help to satisfy your hunger before you start your meal.
Learn how to eyeball portion sizes so you’ll recognize how much to eat when you go to a restaurant. Place any food that goes over the designated serving size into a to-go container to take home. Never assume a restaurant knows how large a portion-size should be. They don’t.
The Bottom Line?
A portion control plate helps with one of the biggest problems that contribute to weight gain, portion control. If you’re struggling with how much you eat, one of these plates may help reduce how many calories you take in at mealtime. Plus, it reinforces in your mind what a portion size should be. It’s another way to get a handle on how much you eat.
Men’s Health. “Plate Power”
Archives of Internal Medicine. “Portion Control Plates for Weight Loss in Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes”