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Portion control helps dieters drop 30 pounds

January 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A simple approach to eating is helping Southern Californians slim down while staying satisfied.

The Lifesize portion control plan is a five-step approach utilizing a measured system that takes the guess work out of dieting.

The co-creator of the program, Myles Berkowitz, said the regimen allows for larger portions that keep people feeling full, discouraging them from snacking.

"We want you just to focus on one thing: And that's how much you're eating," Berkowitz said. "What happens is you leave the table fully satisfied, so for the rest of the day, in between your meals, you're not grazing on food."

For example: Brandy Hyman, who lost 30 pounds using Lifesize, allows for two scoops of mac and cheese with salad. Jenny Ferrara, who also shed 30 pounds, enjoys a decent-sized burger.

While the program has worked for many, there is more than just word of mouth to back it up, Berkowitz said.

"The Lifesize program and the Lifesize tools were tested at Colorado State University and they found that people are eating, on average, 500 calories less than what they were eating before," he said.

And 500 fewer calories a day equates to about a one-pound fat loss in one week.

However, experts say you don't need a structured plan to keep track of your portions. Registered dietician Leeann Weintraub said everyday household items can guide you.

"A golf ball is a really good way to visualize a portion size of peanut butter," she said. "A deck of cards would be a way to think about a portion of protein, like beef or chicken."

Weintraub also said the size of a fist resembles a half-cup, which is good for portioning pasta. She also recommends using mini portions of premium ice cream and tiny containers for nuts as sensible ways to enjoy higher-calorie food.

Putting your food on a smaller plate is also a way to control the amount you eat, she said.

The take home message: It is not what you eat but how much. Rather than deny life's pleasures, simply have smaller quantities of those foods and get enough nutrition at each meal to ensure cravings don't rear their ugly heads during the day.

For more information about the Lifesize Portion system: www.lifesizeportions.com


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