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Karen Ridings

Managing a healthy weight after 50: Part I - plates and portions

The holidays are over and clothes feel a little tighter! What is the best way to shed a few pounds? The answer to this question will determine how successful you will be! There are many methods for losing weight, but the best method is one that results in a permanent lifestyle change and new habits.

As we age, we need all of the wonderful nutrients food offers, but at the same time we need fewer calories as our metabolisms slow down. What to do? An important tactic is to adjust your portion sizes. A ½ cup portion should become your best friend. Thinking about serving sizes in terms of ½ cups will help you to become more aware of how much you are eating and reduce your overall calories.

Next, adopt a smaller plate. A typical dinner plate is 10 inches in diameter. Try sizing down to 8 inches.

How do you plan your plate? Think about filling half of the plate with vegetables. Divide the other half of your plate into two sections, one for meat/protein and the other for bread, starches, or grains.

Here is a sample menu. On half of the plate serve salad and broccoli, on a quarter of your plate serve broiled salmon, and on the other quarter serve brown rice. On the side, serve fruit for dessert (1/2 cup serving) and for a beverage, you might want to consider low fat or skim milk (8 ounces).

Finally, take a look at your plate after you serve yourself. Does your plate look like the Blue Ridge Mountains or the gentle rolling plains? Keep your portions in check, don't overfill your plate. If you are still hungry after you finish your meal, go back to the vegetables for seconds.

A healthy plate might set you on a new path for a healthy weight.

Resource: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1832142/figure/F


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Author - Brittany Michael Author - Karen Poff Author - Karen Ridings Family & Human Development Family Financial Management Food, Nutrition, Health

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