The Portion Plates – food for thought

We are continuing with using the Portion Plates at our house. Not a meal goes by that someone doesn’t ask if we are using the brightly colored, picture covered dishes.

At dinner, we each get our plate and put the food on it making sure that we stay to the guidelines. We still have sporadic grumbling about vegetables but everyone (even the resident cauliflower  hater) puts at least some veggies on their plate.

To be perfectly honest there is some discussion of cheating, for example, there is a small picture that represents a sweet on the kids’ plate. The printed recommendation is that you should use sweets sparingly. Marc (of all people) looked at the picture but then figured if you kept the circumference of the sweet but built it up, it would still be okay.

A long discussion of how many Oreo cookies could be stacked before they fell ensued.

The kids bought their plates, place mats and brochures to school to show their teachers and classmates. This generated discussion with a lot of lunch time food comparison. (It was discovered that there was nowhere on the plates in which to put those pink neon snowball cakes that one mom had sent in with her child.)

The brochures are particularly interesting because they offer suggestions for eating out, making changes in portion size, and recommendations for maintaining a healthy body weight without hitting you over the head.

Taken from the brochure:

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is steadily increasing amount the U.S population. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older (over 60 million people) are obese. (CDC) In order to maintain a healthy weight, a person needs to burn the same amount of calories he or she consumes. Large portion sizes make it hard to keep calories in balance.

It’s a well written non-accusatory fact. No one can refute the logic behind it. If we eat less or at least in moderation we’ll have fewer calories to burn ultimately resulting in less weight.

Last night for dinner we had chicken (not ours) salad, corn, and a piece of bread.

This is what the plate looked like.

Portion Plate with dinner

As I was plating the meal on the Portion Plate, I realized that I was hungry. I should really put two pieces of chicken on the plate, I thought but didn’t because then the protein would be too far outside the portion boundaries. Got to be honest here, I was feeling a little gypped.

What happened though is that when I finished all my vegetables, salad, bread, and meat. I wasn’t in the least bit hungry anymore. Instead of reaching for more chicken, I got up and cleaned my plate in the sink.

Last night I truly realized that perhaps a lot of our weight loss is a result of serving ourselves while we are hungry as opposed to taking a reasonable amount first and then coming back for seconds later if we are still hungry.

Now that’s food for thought.


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Filed under Portion Plates experiment, Product Review, The Family, The kids

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