Many experts believe that portion control (and, by effect, calorie control) is vital to healthy weight loss. Portion control plates help take the guesswork out of food portions and help you eat balanced meals.
In an increasingly obese society, the availability of portion control plates is on the rise. Here are just a few of the plates currently on the market.
The Portion Plate
The Portion Plate's portion control plates and utensils are the perfect tools in determining portions based on the recommended serving size set by the USDA.
Each plate section is divided by beautiful hand created artwork, which transforms them into much more than a portion plate used for dietary purposes only. Use the artwork as a guideline to determine portion sizes.
Portion Plates are confidence boosters to anyone on a weight program as well as a great teaching tool for kids. Selections include options for the entire family. There are also plates for diabetics and plates written in Spanish. Single Portion Plates cost $11.95 plus shipping. Kits which include an educational placemat and brochure are also available for $16.95 plus shipping.
The Balance Plate
The Balance Plate was created to support a healthy, holistic lifestyle. Each plate offers vibrant, fun designs to help you manage your portions and stay motivated. Designs include plates for adults, kids (featuring an eye-catching rainbow theme) and a unique yin and yang plate to encourage balanced living.
All Balance Plates are 100% melamine and dishwasher safe. They are based on current USDA food guidelines. Plates range in cost from $16.99 - $19.99 plus shipping.
The Diet Plate
The Diet Plate is a UK-based company offering attractive, decorative portion control plates. The earthenware plates are decorated with motivational sayings in soothing colors. Food group divisions are made by beautiful, unobtrusive decorations directly on the plate, instead of raised compartments.
To use plates by the Diet Plate, simply add lean protein and starchy carbohydrates in the amounts specified on the plate. Then, add unlimited amounts of vegetables and salad. The plate even has special sections for sauce and cheese if you desire to dress your meal a bit. The result is a pleasingly full plate and healthy amount of balanced calories.
Separate plates are available for men and women, and the site proclaims the dishes safe for diabetics. Breakfast bowls and family kits are also available. You can purchase The Diet Plate on Amazon for $24.99 plus shipping.
Meal Measure is unique among the portion control world in that it's not actually a plate but a device that fits over an existing conventional plate to help you measure portions. Once you've filled the portion control areas, simply lift up the device and the perfect portions are left behind. Portion control areas include starches, proteins, fruits and vegetables.
The Meal Measure is made in the USA and available in three colors -- red, yellow and blue. The cost is $12.98 plus shipping.
EZ Weight Plate
This plate is microwave and dishwasher safe and comes with a lid, making it the perfect plate for taking healthy leftovers to work. The plate comes with a formula to help you determine the calorie intake necessary to meet your specific diet needs. It also comes with a food diary chart to track your progress as well as a list of common food group items.
The plate contains several individual "bowls" that have different measurements including cups, ounces, teaspoons and tablespoons. To use the plate, simply use the graduated measurement markings to ensure the perfect portion. The EZ Weight Plate package costs $16.95 plus shipping.
Portion Control and Weight Loss
If you've eaten at a restaurant in the last few years, then you know that serving sizes have increased tremendously. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, a "normal" sized serving of spaghetti and meatballs 20 years ago had one cup sauce and three small meatballs and was 500 calories. Today, a "regular" serving of spaghetti and meatballs includes two cups sauce and three large meatballs and comes in at a whopping 1,020 calories.
If you only eat out every once in a while, this would not be so problematic. But many peopled dine out on a daily or weekly basis. Additionally, what the National Institutes of Health dubs "portion distortion" seems to be practiced at home. Many people no longer recognize a normal serving size and eat twice, or more, of the recommended amount. As the calories add up, so do the pounds.
Portion Control Tools
Nutritionists and doctors often suggest that dieters "eyeball" portion sizes, with a serving of lean protein equal to deck of cards equal or the palm of the hand equal. While this method works in theory, it's too easy for people to over-estimate, cheat, or forget.
Another option is to simply use a smaller plate. This may help dieters eat less overall, but it does little to ensure that they are eating the proper amounts of each food.
The makers of portion control plates take the guesswork out of portion control. They realize that people are visual-- and emotional-- creatures, and diet plates appeal to both sides. The plates are smaller than traditional plates, allowing the eye to "think" it's seeing more food than it actually is. True portion control plates are also divided, allowing dieters to see at a glance just how much of each food they should be eating. Actual divisions vary depending on the diet or dietary guidelines being addressed.
A Healthy Lifestyle
Portion control plates help you measure foods whether you need to lose, gain or maintain weight. They can also help you stick to a specific eating plan if you have a specific health condition such as diabetes. Using a portion control plate is a great option to help you meet your dietary goals and support a healthy lifestyle.