Mary Kmak has turned her life around, losing over one hundred pounds, and found a path to health through the Tucson Medical Center Wellness program. In Mary’s Promise she shares tips, recipes, challenges that she has learned along the way. Today, she shares her approach to portion control. Mary’s Promise reflects her experience and does not constitute medical advice. Please consult your primary care physician before embarking on a exercise regime.

Hello Readers,

What does portion control mean to you?

To me portion control means understanding how much a serving size of food or beverage is and how many calories a serving contains. Portion control is important for weight management. If I didn’t learn about portion control in the TMC Wellness classes and follow that advice closely I would have never lost over 100 pounds.

Along my weight loss journey to health I’ve heard many people say to me “I eat what you eat, but I can’t lose any weight.” I was one of those people at one time. Sure I’d eat three meals, salads, and a healthy snack, but upon closer inspection what and how much I was eating did not compare to my approach post Wellness Class.

At lunch I make a big salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell peppers and purple sliced onions. My salad dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar and my protein is between two and three ounces of chicken breast depending on my protein quota. They’re having salad too, but upon a closer inspection they’ve added a heavy dressing, loaded the salad down with cheese and processed lunch meats.

My snack may be a few walnuts, pecans or pistachios compared to the whole bag which I’d eat previously.

The bottom line is you may be eating all the right choices, but if you don’t have any portion control you will not lose weight.  Here are my top suggestions that I live by in order to control my portion control.

  1. Don’t skip meals

Best plan is to eat three nutritional meals a day with fruits and one or two healthy snacks depending upon your allotted calorie intake. If you wait too long to eat, you may overeat the next meal. Prior to the wellness class I never ate breakfast, by 10:30am I was ravenous, but now I preplan my daily food intake and include breakfast. I might have a piece of fruit at 10:30am, but the need to eat isn’t there anymore.

2. Measure and weigh food

Measuring and weighing my food is a must for me. I no longer guess and stay as accurate as I can be. I have a little food scale that weighs ounces for my protein.

3.  Serving size vs. portion size

There is a difference. For example, a small bag of almonds may say it has two servings, so if you would have to double the calories, fats and carbohydrates info per serving listed on the container. Look for a label with all of this information.

4. Plan your meals

Another must for me. Write down what you eat, think before you eat and take your time eating. Enjoy your food by eating it slowly.

Mary H Kmak

Health Warrior

Want to make the kind of changes that Mary has and see similar results?Make an appointment to see one of TMC’s Registered Dietitians for a one on one and gain a whole world of scientifically-based, tried and true techniques to improve your health and fits your individual lifestyle.