Portion Control A Problem? Try the Plate Method.

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An Easy Plan for Portion Control

Hate counting calories and measuring serving sizes?  Most people do and research has shown these methods often don’t work in aiding weight loss.  One reason that counting calories doesn’t work is that 100 calories of salad is very different from 100 calories of cake, but many weight loss plans would have you believe otherwise.  The key to health and weight loss lies in a balanced, whole foods diet including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and fresh meats (not treated with hormones). 

The Idaho Plate Method is a great way to get all the necessary servings of veggies, proteins and whole grains every day without counting calories and fat.  And, it’s so easy.  Follow the guidelines below to make the most out of your plate at every meal.

  • Reduce plate size to a 10-inch plate and fill plate only ½ inch deep.
  • Non-Starchy Vegetables: These should make up 50% of your plate.  Non-starchy vegetables include all greens (kale, collards, mustards, etc), lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, green beans, radishes, seaweeds, mushrooms, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, eggplant, tomato, etc.
  • Starch: This should make up about ¼ of your plate (or 1 serving of whole grains; about ½ cup). Starches include: beans, legumes, grains, bread, pasta, potatoes, yams, winter squash, etc.  Try to eat only whole grains that have not been refined or altered.  If you are trying to lose weight or you have high blood sugar, this portion of your plate can be replaced with more non-starchy vegetables.
  • Meat/Proteins: This should make up about ¼ of your plate (or 1 serving of 3-5 ounces, based on type of protein). Meat/Proteins include: poultry, fish, beef, eggs, etc.
  • Fruit: 1 serving per meal (less is ok).  Limit fruit intake if you have blood sugar dysregulation.  Fruit portion may be saved for snacks in between meals also. If you are trying to lose weight or you have high blood sugar, omit or limit fruit in the diet.
  • Dairy: One serving of dairy per meal.  Dairy includes milk, yogurt, cheese, kefir, cream, etc.  Remove if lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy.  Avoid dairy that is high in sugar such as flavored yogurt and ice cream. A serving of dairy is variable based on the item.  A serving of milk or yogurt is about one cup.  A serving of hard cheese is about 1.5 ounces; shredded cheese is 1/3 cup.
  • Good Fats: Include one serving of healthy fats in every meal.  Healthy fats include: avocado, whole butter (NOT margarine), cold-pressed olive oil, other cold pressed vegetable oils, coconut oil, nuts, seeds.  A serving size of fat is about 1 teaspoon.


 Source: Idaho Plate Method.  http://www.platemethod.com/