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Successful Weight Loss E-Book

Weight Control Strategies

Portion Control
The Secret Weight Loss Tool

The Portion Control Plan alone is how you can eat all of your favorite foods and still control your weight. When it comes to portions, size does matter!

You should eat a wide variety of foods in small portions.

Portion Control is one of the biggest reasons people can't lose weight. They tend to focus more on what they eat than how much. In order to lose weight, you have to master your portion sizes. That means learning what an official serving size from each of the food groups and how many calories are in each serving.

For example, a low-cal version of spaghetti at your local restaurant carries a portion size of 4 times the recommended amount. Because it is low-fat or heart-smart, you would tend to consume the entire portion. The extra calories in this monster-size portion will add fatty pounds and take away from your nutritional health.

Measure Your Portions

With pasta, as mentioned, calories add up fast. An average bowl of pasta equals 3-4 cups, which equates to approximately 400-500 calories (without the sauce) and if it is enriched pasta it will be more readily turned into fat.

Consider using spaghetti squash for your spaghetti dishes.  You can save about 500 calories if you eat a dinner plate full of spaghetti--wow!  It's also very filling/satisfying and tasty too. 

Heres a portion control tip: Measure a cup of food and put it into a disposable bowl. Use a permanent marker to measure where your portion comes up to and continue to use that bowl each time you have pasta until you can eye your portion size. Do the same with whole grain cereals and rice. Be sure not to begin to oversize them as many people tend to do. You may want to re-measure periodically to be sure youre on target.

Easier still:  If you buy the new Zip-loc type of disposable bowls, they come in 1 cup, 2 cup and 3 cup sizes for ease in measuring of foods.  Doesn't get much easier than that!

    Quick Way to Size up your servings

    Get your portions right using these guidelines:

    1 cup = size of a fist

    cup = cupped hand

    1 tsp. = size of a thumb tip

    2 Tbsp. = size of a golf ball

    1 baked potato = size of a computer mouse

    1 oz. cheese = size of six dice

    1 serving of meat = size of a baseball (not a softball!)

    Tired of all these measurements yet? Good, then read on:

The Divided Plate Plan

Fool-Proof Portion Control!

You may have seen this on the Body@Work website.  It's a very basic, easy concept.  Most people don't have the time to measure foods and is the reason alot of the diets out there fail.   Following the food pyramid as a guide is important, but in real life there will be times when you need an easier way.  It's easy as 1..2..3....

1.  Divide your (regular sized) plate in half; Fill one half with vegetables and fruits

2.  Divide the other half in two again; Fill one portion with protein-rich foods (lean meat or beans dishes)

3.  Fill the other with whole grains such as pasta or bread

Be sure not to pile the food high, keeping in mind what you have learned about the importance of portion control. If you are still hungry after one plate, eat another plate of vegetables.

For a woman, if you want to be 120-140 pounds, eat one plate full at each meal.  150-175 two plates full.  For a 200 pound man wanting to lose 20-30 pounds, he can safely fill his plate twice as mentioned, then again with fruits & vegetables to reach his weight loss goal.  These figures are explained in detail when you order the "Divided Plate Plan" from the website.

This plan alone will help you to control portions, control your calorie intake and help you toward your weight loss goals.

It is especially helpful when dining out and eating at buffet-style restaurants.

In the case of buffets, where you go back more than once, you should fill 2/3 of your plate with vegetables and fruits, instead of only half.

Various recent studies have shown that people have dropped weight simply by using this method of portion control.


 It will work for you!
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Nutrition Goals

Here is a simple list of "goals" to follow for your new eating strategy. Practical tips on how to achieve the goals you set are on the following pages.

Daily Goals

  • Master portion control
  • Get 30 grams of fiber
  • Eat at least 4 servings of fruit
  • Have at least 6 servings of vegetables
  • Include 4 servings of whole grain products
  • Eat 3-4 servings of lien protein
  • Have 2-3 servings of healthy fat
  • Eat 5-6 mini-meals or 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks
  • Drink alot of water!
  • Eliminate sweetened soft drinks

Weekly Goals

  • Eat fish 2-3 times
  • Eat bean dishes 3 times
  • Try a new fruit, vegetable or other healthy food
  • Eat high fiber cereal or oatmeal at least 5 times


Personal Nutrition Goals

Think about the nutrition goals you would like to reach. They may include a date by which you'd like to lower your calorie intake, lose pounds, begin an exercise program, or list new foods and recipes you'd like to try.  Make a list, post it on your refrigerator, then check them off as you work toward your goals.  Be sure to reward yourself regularly for reaching these goals!


Nutritional Tips

  • Keep a food diary to track your daily intake.
  • Plan and eat regular meals, beginning with breakfast to get your metabolism up and running efficiently.
  • Eat 5-6 mini-meals per day to keep your metabolism humming along efficiently.
  • Eat slowly. It usually takes about 20 minutes for your body to feel the full effects of food. Eating too fast is the reason so many of us overeat in the first place. If you take your time and enjoy your meal, you will most likely eat less in the long run.
  • Never let yourself become famished. You will want to binge at your next meal.
  • Snack on a handful of anything whole grain or carrots or celery between any meal.
  • If you need a salty snack, eat only a handful and savor each bite. Opt for unbuttered popcorn which is high in fiber, low in calories; you can simply eat more!
  • Give up that full-sugared soft drink, switch to diet or no-cal beverages.
  • Drink tea. It's a natural nutritional wonder and has zero calories.
  • Watch the sugar content of processed fruit juices.
  • Dont buy temptation foods in the first place. However, its important to have a small portion of your favorite comfort food worked into your daily calorie count.
  • Give in to that chocolate craving. Chocolate is known to be good for your heart and is a natural relaxant. Just dont overdo it, or buy sugar-free chocolate for a healthy alternative
  • Give yourself a treat every weekend if youve followed a healthy diet all week. Just be sure to eat lighter at your next meal and always include it in your daily count.
  • Better yet, buy yourself something rather than eating excess calories
  • Use the plate dividing plan whenever you're in doubt and fill up on fiber-rich foods
  • Spread a tablespoon of mashed avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo. It has the same consistency and is packed with vitamins and fiber.
  • Bake sweet potatoes and sprinkle with cinnamon. The natural sweetness will fulfill your palate while fiber and nutritional value will add to your health. They are about the calories of white starchy potatoes and full of antioxidants.
  • Use the same day of the week to prepare individual servings of fruit and veggies for week-long nutritional snacks.
  • Drink lots of water to keep from snacking.


Dining Out Survival Tips

  • Order meals that are baked, broiled, grilled, steamed roasted or broiled
  • Ask the waiter to bring you half of the portion (although youll be paying for it all) or ask for a box with your meal and cut it in half and box it before you dig in. Save the rest for another meal.
  • Get high-fat dressings on the side and lightly dip your fork before piercing the lettuce, rather than drowning it in all that fat. Saves a lot of calories!
  • Start with soup or salad, even before you touch the bread. Fill up on soups that have clear broth. Cream soups are full of bad fats. Minestrone is one of the best picks as it contains many veggies and beans which are high in fiber.
  • Skip the bread basket altogether whenever possible. You can save up to 400 calories that way!
  • Order extra vegetables instead of a baked potato or if available order a sweet potato for greater nutrients and less calories.
  • At a buffet, make your first plate a salad or a plate of vegetables before going back for the meat and other foods.
  • Better yet, avoid buffet-type settings when you have a choice because they tend to make you overeat naturally.
  • Indulge in conversation and remember to eat slowly.
  • Drink a glass of water while waiting for your food
  • Order a fruit plate as an appetizer.
  • Order sandwiches dry and choose your own low-fat condiments, like ketchup and mustard or low-fat ranch.
  • Remember when hungry that your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Stick to small portions of several foods and eat slowly.
  • Have fresh fruit for dessert or share a less healthy dessert with a friend so you dont consume too much
  • Use the 90%/10% method: If you watch what you eat 90% of the time, the other 10% is not a problem.


Guilt-Free Fast Food??

Yes, Its Possible...

At some point, almost all of us find ourselves in the drive-thru lane or out for a meal. In fact, most people eat away from home three times per week. The problem is that most of this food is filled with bad fats and high calories and most portion sizes are too large!

Like everything else with weight loss/control, a little planning goes a long way. You know its not a good idea to eat french fries often, so making the right choices at the drive-thru window will keep you on a positive nutritional path, although you may feel like youre cheating somewhat.

Here are some smart choices that wont top 500 calories:

McDonalds - For portion control, order a happy meal or hamburger (no cheese) and small fries with water or an iced tea.  Better yet, order a chicken breast salad with vinaigrette dressing.  The protein in the salad will satisfy you and keep you feeling full.  Plus it takes longer to eat a salad, so you feel satisfied by the time you're done, rather than gulping down a hamburger.

Burger King - Grilled Chicken Sandwich (without Mayo), side salad, diet drink (ask for fat-free ranch as a condiment instead of Mayo). 

Taco Bell - 2 Regular Tacos (or soft), with a diet drink or 1 taco & 1 pinto & cheese, about 200 calories each.  Or eat their taco salad without the crunchy additions on top and ditch the shell. 

Pizza Hut - Medium slice of thin crusted veggie pizza loaded with veggies and no extra cheese, side salad with low-cal dressing, diet drink

Subway - Very good choice for you if you skip the cheese and mayo and pile on the veggies.  Better yet, order their new salads and skip the enriched submarine breads.  (Even their "multi-grain" is made with enriched flour!)

KFC Skinless chicken breast or 2 skinless drumsticks, green beans and baked beans as sides.  Steer clear of those biscuits!

Wendys Junior hamburger and a small chili or a large chili and a garden deluxe salad with viniagrette dressing.

  • Eat salads with lower-calorie dressings and hold the croutons.
  • Order grilled or baked chicken sandwiches without sauces. Try to stick to ketchup & mustard for a low-cal, low fat alternative.
  • Order and eat a side salad first to avoid eating that whole order of french fries.
  • Order the smallest sizes of any fried foods.
  • Order your hamburger with everything and discard the bun.  Eat it with knife & fork instead. 
  • Realize when youre feeling full and drink more water. Take sips between bites.  You'll be amazed at the results!
  • Give up the diet drinks and full-sugared sodas and you'll lose weight automatically.

Sample Health-Packed Diet

Use the following as a guideline in planning your meals for a good mixture of fiber, carbs and protein with every meal.


Oatmeal topped with blueberries, sliced bananas, walnuts and fat-free half-and-half (whole grain, full of fiber, keeps blood sugar in line and reduces risk of diseases, reduces cholesterol)

Whole-wheat toast brushed with olive oil (fiber packed bread, heart-healthy oil)

Cup of tea (antioxidant: protects from disease, fights viruses)


Mid-a.m. Snack

Low-fat yogurt topped with berries & kiwi (high fiber fruits with good source of calcium)



Mixed dark green salad with chicken breast - add orange slices, sunflower seeds, red peppers, red onions, broccoli, carrots with low-fat or no-fat dressing. (Darker-colored veggies pack more nutrients, while low-fat dressings and seeds provide healthy fats)

Turkey Breast sandwich with reduced mayo on whole grain bread (protein from turkey will keep you feeling full longer)


Mid-p.m. Snack

Whole fruit and unbuttered popcorn (Fiber-packed and low-fat)



Baked or Broiled Salmon topped with peppers and onions sauteed in olive oil (full of heart-healthy, brain-boosting omega-3 fats)

Baked Sweet Potato sprinkled with cinnamon (Naturally sweet and packed with fiber and antioxidants; prevents premature aging)

Steamed broccoli, brussel sprouts or kale (stimulate enzymes in your liver which clean the body of toxins)

Black Beans with Whole Grain Rice (fiber-rich; good for your digestive system)


Late Snack

Cup of Tea

Small bowl of high fiber cereal

If you can skip the late snack, do so and work those calories into an earlier meal. It will help you achieve your weight loss goal faster because your metabolism will slow during the night.


So What Have You Learned?

You should not deprive yourself of your favorite foods. Use portion control and the divided plate plan to enjoy a large array of different kinds of foods, just in smaller portions.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Filling up on these high fiber, low fat foods will help you achieve your goals faster. They are nutritionally good for your body inside and out.

Eat the right kind of fat (monounsaturated) found in nuts, fish and some oils and avoid the wrong kind of fat (saturated and trans-fats) found in animal and dairy products and hydrogenated oils and margarines.

Change your food purchases to include whole-grain breads, pastas, rice and cereals that have not gone through the enriching process which strips nutrients and adds unneeded sugars.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to flush your body of impurities and keep you feeling full longer. Be sure to determine thirst from hunger by first drinking a tall glass of cold water during a craving to see if that was what your body was asking for.

Start an exercise program to compliment your new eating pattern. Diet and exercise go hand in hand and will ease the stresses of life and make your outlook more positive, in addition achieving your goals faster. It doesnt get any better than that!


You Are In Control

Going over the things you've just learned, remember that you are in total control of the foods you consume.  Nobody else is going to lose weight for you.  You have to be the one to take over and know you can reach your goals if you really care to.  If your wish is to improve your health or to lose or maintain weight, you will have to become conscious of the habits you need to break or changes you need to make in your eating patterns.

To maintain weight loss, weight loss winners know that you need to stay committed to the eating choices that helped you lose weight in the first place.  Never deprive yourself of food, rather choose the right foods as outlined and eat small portions throughout the day.

Portion control will get you on your way to eating several small meals throughout the day, which will keep your metabolism revved up and burning those calories. Use the plate dividing plan whenever in question.

Although I haven't covered supplements in this guide, a good multi-vitamin along with a widely varied diet will ensure you are receiving the basic minerals your body needs. You can use the Vitamin/Nutrient chart for further reference.

Food's Affects on the Body

Cravings - A low-carb eating plan can cause bad cravings because your body wants the food that is missing from your diet.  The problems related to overly strict, prohibitive diets can cause you to binge and crave which is why a balanced diet is your most body-friendly choice. 

Low Energy - You may not be getting enough iron or water and this can cause fatigue.   Eat plenty of complex carbs, add iron-rich foods such as oatmeal and spinach and be sure to drink enough water.

Feeling down/depressed - Not getting enough omega-3 fats from fish or enough vitamin B could make you feel somewhat down or depressed.  Fish wakes up your brain cells and with with rich brain-friendly oils and also provides vitamin B12 to keep you alert.  Also add dark green veggies every day to get enough folic acid.

Constant hunger - As you know, skipping meals can cause you to feel deprived, unsatisfied.  Spread food intake evenly over your day, starting with breakfast.  Stay full on fewer calories by eating lots of fiber, protein with every meal, and lots water-packed foods.

Irritability/Anxiety - Relying on caffeine for an energy boost could make you feel cranky.  If you often feel irritable, try to limit coffee, tea and caffeine drinks to see if that is the culprit.  Be sure you're not replacing meals with them.


Get Moving!

Any good diet can be positively enhanced by an exercise program. Don't let the word "exercise" scare you into thinking youll have to huff and puff for 5 hours a week if thats not your style.

You can easily begin a walking program with just an extra 20-30 minutes per day (or 15 minutes twice per day) beginning at a comfortable pace, increasing the pace as it gets too easy and add stairs or bleachers to your routine when it becomes too easy. Your breathing and heart rate should increase, but never to an uncomfortable level. You should be able to talk, but not sing.

Even two 15 minute walks which raise your heart rate will help since exercise in any amount is beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

Exercise is essential to controlling body fat. In dieting alone, you can lose weight, but half of the loss is muscle. As we age, it is important to maintain muscle and bone to avoid becoming frail and unable to care for ourselves.

If you're not currently exercising, you should consider starting a simple program. By becoming more active, you could easily burn 300 extra calories per day! If you start lifting weights (even light ones), your body will burn extra calories even while at rest. Muscle requires more calories to be expended than fat. That means faster weight loss results with little extra effort.

Well this is the end of informational part of the Successful Weight Loss E-book.  The next pages contain tracking forms, the vitamin and nutrient chart and the divided plate plan.   

I hope you've obtained information that will help you on your way to steady and permanent weight loss.  Be sure to contact me if you have any questions or comments. 

Drop me an e-mail to let me know how you're doing at:

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It is recommended by body@work that you consult your physician before beginning any new diet or exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing conditions.