Turn to portion control, not calorie counting


Meeting your weight loss goals can be a challenge, especially if you're spending all of your time counting calories. Luckily, there are ways to lose weight that don't require you to keep track of every single calorie that's on your plate. Recently, U.S. News published an article by Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., who explained ways that you can learn how to make sensibly portioned meals that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

Learning portion control is simpler and more effective than counting calories, and the right meals can leave you more satisfied than any 100-calorie bag of chips.

It's all about the right balance

According to the expert, a healthy plate is ideally divided into half vegetables, one-fourth lean protein and one-fourth high-fiber carbohydrates. For lean protein, Gans recommended beans, skinless chicken, egg whites and fish.

Out of all of these options, fish may be the best one. According to the Washington State Department of Health, many fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy lipids that may benefit brain health. Also, fish has vitamins such as B12 and D.

With vegetables, you can't really go wrong no matter which ones you choose, but determining high-fiber carbohydrate options can be a bit trickier. Gans suggested oats, barley, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and whole-wheat bread.

Of course, you can't forget about fruits.

"Where does fruit fit in? Fruit can replace (or share) the veggie portion of your plate, or serve as your high-fiber carbohydrate. It can also simply be eaten as part of a snack or dessert," wrote Gans for U.S. News.

Tips for portion control

Gans explained some simple ways to figure out how much you are eating without using a measuring cup. For example, a one-ounce serving of cheese looks like six playing dice, while one ounce of nuts can fit inside a shot glass. Also, one cup of pasta is about the size of a tennis ball, and a medium potato should look like a computer mouse.

The Mayo Clinic states that one serving of most fruits is the size of a tennis ball as well. This is important to keep in mind, because while fruits are good sources of antioxidants and vitamins, they can also contain high amounts of sugar.