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Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult
by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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Unfortunately, there is no secret pill, potion or crazy diet that is going to help you lose weight. The one method that has been tested and proven time and time again is portion control. Calories in versus calories out is the name of the game when it comes to weight management. I’d be willing to bet that most people could tell me what portion control means, but it’s one of those things that’s easier said than done. Here are a few tips for keeping your portions under control:

- Use smaller bowls and plates. The smaller the dish, the less you eat, and the more satisfied you are. Use side plates for dinner, use a mug for cereal and pour juice into smaller glasses.
- When plating your dinner, make sure half of it is filled with veggies, leaving only half a plate for your starch and protein.
- The One Cup Rule: Keep foods that are easy to overeat to one cup. For instance, use the one cup rule for pasta, rice, cereal and caloric beverages (juice, soda, etc).
- For things like ice cream and chips, choose pre-portioned options like 100 calorie packs and ice cream bars, this way you’re not relying on yourself to keep it to one portion.

Here are some common household items that have been used for years to estimate portion size:

• 1 cup = your fist or cupped hand
• 1 ounce of cheese = your thumb or a pair of dice
• 1 teaspoon = your thumb tip
• 1-2 ounces snack food = a handful
• 3 ounces of meat = deck of cards or your palm
• 2 ounces dry spaghetti = a quarter
• 1 cup cooked brown rice or pasta or mashed potatoes = a baseball
• 2 tablespoons peanut butter = a ping pong ball
• 1 ounce peanuts = 1 ½ golf balls

Adapted from: http://www.eatright.org/Media/Blog.aspx?id=4294968212&blogid=269&terms=portion+control

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