Why Portion Control Matters:
When you have type 2 diabetes, you need to gauge portion sizes correctly, so you know how many calories and carbohydrates you’re taking in and how they will affect your blood sugar. Learning what a portion size actually is and eating that amount is tricky. People are notoriously bad at estimating what, say a cup of breakfast cereal looks like.
Limit Portions, Lose Weight;
Limiting portions can help you lose weight and ultimately prevent complications. A 2004 study of 329 overweight people found that 38% of those who practiced portion control for two years lost 5% or more of body weight, compared with 33% of participants who did not (they gained 5% or more of body weight).
Don’t Skip Meals:
If you’re starving, you’re more likely to eat an extra-large portion. For most people, the best plan is to eat three well-designed meals and one snack. People need to eat a minimum of three times a day, and avoid going longer than five without eating.
Measure and Weigh Food:
Get out those measuring cups! Measuring and weighing are so critical since we are such poor judges. We don’t know what ¾ ounce of pretzels looks like (which is about 15 mini pretzels).
Know Your “Rules of Thumb”:
Did you know that 3 ounces of lean meat is equivalent to a deck of cards? And 1 cup of breakfast cereal is about the size of a fist? See attachment to help with what an actual portion should look like.
Serving Size vs. Portion Size:
What’s the difference? Serving sizes per container are listed on the nutrition facts label. For example, a small bag of pretzels may say that it contains two servings, so you’re eating the whole bag – your portion size – you’d have to double the calorie, fat, and carbohydrate information per serving to know how much you’re consuming. Read the label.
Use Portion-Control Plates:
What are they? These are handy plates with painted lines (or just smaller plates in general) that help measure carbohydrates, proteins, cheese, and sauces.
In a June 2007 study, researchers at the University of Calgary randomly assigned 130 people with type 2 diabetes to use those plates or regular ones. Overall, 17% of those who used the plate lost 5% or more of their body weight, while only 4.6% of the control group did; 26% of those who used the plate were able to cut back on diabetes medication (because they lost more weight), compared with 11% of people who did not use the plate.
Develop Good “Eating Out” Habits:
First, fill up your plate with green veggies, and get full on those before eating other food. Then when ordering a meal, ask the server to only put half the meal on your plate and pack the other half to go. Finally, keep in mind that restaurants specialize in mega-portions; a 12-ounce steak can contain three to four servings of meat (two to three servings a day recommended).
Change Plates to Lose Weight
Control portion size with the smaller, but cool plates.
What a serving size looks like:
1 cup of cereal = fist
1 pancake = compact disc
½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potato = ½ baseball
1 slice of bread = cassette tape
1 piece of cornbread = bar of soap
Vegetables and Fruit
1 cup of salad = baseball
1 baked potato = fist
1 medium fruit = baseball
½ cup of fresh fruit = ½ baseball
¼ cup of raisins = large egg
Dairy and Cheese
1 ½ ounce of cheese = 4 stacked dice or 2 cheese slices
½ cup of ice cream = ½ baseball
1 tsp margarine or spreads = 1 dice
Meat and Alternatives
3 ounces of meat, fish, and poultry = deck of cards
3 ounces grilled/baked fish = checkbook
2 tablespoons of peanut butter = pink pong ball