October 2021
Jacqui Lewis - BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

Practising Portion Control After Weight Loss Surgery

Health fruits and vegetables

Portion control is crucial to realising weight loss success after your surgery.

Using a portion control plate or bowl for your meals as soon as you are on solid foods again will form healthier eating habits from the get-go.

A post-surgery eating plan will help you retrain your eating habits, build a healthy relationship with food, and feel satisfied after eating.
Maintaining food portions is essential to achieve weight loss successfully. Healthy eating and good portion control will assist long term weight loss, ensuring you meet your target weight.

The portion sizes on our Portion Control Plate and Bowl are mapped by the proportion of macronutrients (protein, healthy carbs, and fats) you should be consuming with each meal. 

Help form healthier eating habits by following these tips:

1. Drink water between meals

Woman Drinking Water - BN Healthy

When you're dehydrated, you're more likely to eat more. By drinking water throughout the day, you're getting enough hydration.

Once your body reaches dehydration, it will start to signal hunger - so the best way to avoid mixed messages is to ensure at least 2 litres of fluids are consumed daily. You might need more if you drink a lot of coffee and especially if you consume alcohol. 

2. Eat your protein first

Protein Rich Foods - BN Healthy

Protein is the key to long-lasting weight loss and a healthy metabolism. Protein is critical in muscle building, and retention promotes hormonal balance and helps reduce insulin resistance.

Protein also keeps you fuller for much longer than a carb-based meal will as it is fully digested in the stomach. Whereas carbs are sent straight to the small intestine for digestion which leaves you feeling less satisfied.

The research indicates that when we eat a protein-rich breakfast, we can eat up to 80% fewer calories throughout the day and lose up to 25% more weight when compared to those who eat a carb-rich breakfast. 

3. Avoid eating from the packet or takeaway containers

Woman Eating Nachos - BN Healthy

Although it may not seem like much food, you will discover the quantity inside once you portion out the food in those deceptively small containers.

Portion out a serving of your food and place it in our Portion Control Plate or Bowl. You will likely feel satisfied after the first serve and, in the long run, eat less compared to eating directly from the packet. 

Always portion out your food - once there is more on the plate than you need, it will generally get eaten, even with the best of intentions. Portion out your meal, and put the rest away immediately so that it takes a bit of effort to have that second serve. Out of sight, out of mind! 

4. Measure out the correct serving of carbohydrates and protein

To help you see what a serving of carbs is, use a measuring cup or a weighing scale.
You don't have to do this every single time, but occasionally measure out some portion sizes so that you know what a serving looks like.

What a serve of carbs and protein looks like:

Carbohydrates

  • One slice of bread
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, quinoa, semolina, polenta, barley and porridge
  • ¼ cup muesli and three crispbreads

Protein

  • 65g cooked lean meat
  • 80g cooked poultry
  • 100g fish
  • Two eggs
  • One cup legumes
  • 170g tofu
  • 30g nuts & seeds

5. Chew slowly

Eating fast means that you're more likely to miss your hunger and fullness cues. Taking your time with a meal, really savouring each bite, helps you enjoy the meal more and ensure you don't overeat.

You can read more about eating mindfully here: "Does Eating Mindfully Really Have Merit?"

That means no standing over the kitchen bench or wolfing down dinner in front of the TV. Try to sit and eat with no distractions, aiming to eat mindfully. 

Remember:

  • Stick to high-protein meals
  • Understand portion control
  • Drink water between meals
  • Eat to satisfied, not full
  • Small bites, small sips & chew slowly

Jacqui Lewis
BHSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine

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