Healthy Eating

Top 3 Portion Control Eating Plans

Portion Control
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Nutrition has always been a big part of my life. I’ve never enjoyed the concept of dieting and have always strived to choose a lifestyle of healthy eating that is realistic. Over the years, I’ve eaten mostly healthy but have realized that my portions may have been on the larger side. My motto was always “I run to eat”. Well, I used to run many miles per week and could basically eat whatever I wanted. This has changed over the years with less running, an older body and more stress. I simply don’t want to run to eat and will notice almost immediate weight gain if I eat how I used to. Like everything in my life, I needed a plan and some guidance. Over the last few years, I’ve read about and experimented with several different portion control plans and even become certified in nutrition along the way. Here are my top 3 finds for eating plans.

 

1. Beachbody Portion Fix Eating Plan

This is my favorite plan!  It is straight forward and very easy to follow.  You simply enter your weight into a formula which will put you into one of four calorie plans.  Each of these plans will then inform you of how many portions of the major food types (proteins, carbs, veggies, fruits, fats) you can have daily, which are based on your weight loss/gain goals.  The portions are then made very easy by color coded containers that you will receive after you purchase the program.  Each container is sized to fit the appropriate portion size and labeled to make it even easier.

The other thing I love about this plan, is that there is an app that helps you track the amount of containers of each food type you have for every meal.  This makes it kind of fun and very easy to plan.   When you receive your containers, you will also get a small guide book that takes you through this step by step and also offers several recipe ideas.  This program seems to be quite popular as these containers are now available on several other websites (including Amazon). There are also tons of recipes on Pinterest that are based on these containers making it super simple to stick to this.

Since I started using this plan, I have discovered that my portion awareness was way off!  My husband is a foot taller and about 80 lbs heavier then me. When I’ve complained about gaining weight, he often reminded me that perhaps I should look at my portions sizes as they were typically bigger then his.  Of course, I wasn’t super pleased with his honesty at the time, however, I’ve learned he was probably right.  This plan has done a fantastic job at getting me on track and opening my eyes up to exactly what types of foods I need more or less of and how much is enough for my body size.  I have been using this plan for about one year and not only have I lost those extra 5 lbs, my weight is not fluctuating as much as it historically has.

Lastly, my absolute favorite thing about this plan is that it comes with TONS of support! Beachbody.com is an amazing company that offers fantastic work out videos for home use as well as everyday coaches that create Facebook groups for daily encouragement.  I no longer go to a gym or feel the need to run for miles several times a week.  Instead, I work out in my basement consistently to a variety of exercise videos that are fun and effective.  I eat better and see great results.

2.  Precision Nutrition

Precision Nutrition is a comprehensive individualized nutrition and fitness plan designed for your unique wellness needs.  It is based on the latest scientific research with 100% guaranteed results.  You will receive daily lessons, workouts and a bimonthly habit plan as well as a personal coach. Your coach will guide you through the progam, provide regular feedback and will be available anytime via instant messaging, telephone and/or video chat. These coaches are experts in the field and will be sure to provide you the information you need to succeed in both your nutrition and your fitness.  They also offer have fantastic group support with their online community of peers who are going through the same program.

This very effective life changing program is a bit more expensive but it is a perfect example of “you get what you pay for”.  Normally, it costs $179/month for 12 months.  However, if you sign up early (pre-sale list) you will pay $97/month.  This plan is perfect for you if you need more accountability and a specialized program designed just for you.  The following video is a great overview of their women’s program.  (They offer programs for men too, of course.)

Precision Nutrition also offers a level one and two certification program. These programs enable you to become an elite coach, a fitness/medical professional who can more confidently incorporate nutritional counseling into your care and/or simply a more educated person on nutrition.  As a physical therapist, the topic of overall health and wellness often comes up with my clients. These conversations typically include nutrition, which left me feeling a bit under qualified.  Personally, I’ve learned some of this in school and have read a TON on this topic. I am confident that I know enough to provide good advice. However, I felt compelled to not only expand my knowledge on proper diet but to take it a step further with some certified credentials.

I learned of Precision Nutrition’s program through an extensive online search of nutrition certification programs.  It has been utilized and supported by several big name companies including Nike, Apple, Men’s Health and many more.  I completed the level one certification and was very impressed with not only the format for learning but the comprehensive nature of the information.  It was like taking all of the college health and science classes over but in a way that was geared specifically to real life nutrition examples.  Chemistry and biology made sense and was actually interesting!

I haven’t signed up for and experienced the actual nutrition coaching program.  However, this is only because I learned all of the material during the certification and felt confident that I could do this on my own.  I often think it would be wonderful to have a daily lesson and a personal coach. So, maybe someday I’ll do it but I just don’t feel it is necessary for me at this time.

One of my favorite things I learned from this program was their version of portion control.  It is simple and based off the size of your hand.  I have included an infographic (at the very bottom of this post) that is extremely useful to hang on your fridge, even if you do not sign up for their program. Enjoy!

3.  USDA My Plate

Remember the food pyramid?  The one with tons of carbs on the bottom and just a teeny bit of fat on the top? Our government has come along way since then and has updated the pyramid to a plate.

The 1994 Pyramid

My Plate from 2011 (most current)

My Plate offers a better visual of what a typical meal plate should look like. The veggies and fruit take up half the plate and then grains and protein for the other half. It is simple and easy to remember but not very specific upon first glance. However, their website is full of tons of information with a variety of videos, print outs and social challenges for healthier eating. It includes links for individuals and families with encouraging guides to improve your dining habits. Portion control is discussed with a link to a quiz on portion distortion. If you play around on the site long enough, you will find recipes, tips for physical activity and an online tool called Supertracker to plan, analyze, and track your diet and physical activity.

My plate is an incredible update to the old “Food Pyramid” that has progressed with technology and the latest health trends. This is a great place to start and it may be common language to what your children are already learning in school.

I encourage you to check these out! You will learn a TON of great info and one of these 3 amazing options will help you achieve your goals! Comment below with YOUR favorite:)

Here’s the Precision Nutrition Infographic I promised!