Exactly How Much is on Your Plate?

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2014-03-16 10:53:10 -0500
Started 2014-02-28 08:13:07 -0600

Portion sizes are a common topic here and yet, we rarely touch on exactly how much it should be. Of course it's going to vary from person to person a bit based on what their caloric intake needs are, but here is a great slide show that offers visuals for your portions.


48 replies

shorty1965 2014-03-10 06:39:00 -0500 Report

My problem is I'm never Hungary I don't eat.i can just drink water or a sugar free drink and be ok all day.so I don't have that together yet.thats a work in progress for me.
I am trying to eat more them 2 meals a day but sometimes that's hard for me I don't know y but I'm just not Hungary at all but I have to get them meals in so I can take my meds that's why I try to get at least 2 meals in a day.
Sometimes I eat the same thing over and over just so I can eat something.
I love fish and I love baked chicken and I love greens and tuna fish and chicken breast so how ever I have to make that and put them together I will so I can eat and I love all kind of salads.and I make them as many different ways and put them together so I can get that needle in me.

lanykins 2014-03-15 11:20:41 -0500 Report

I don't get hungry either, I will often eat only dinner since it is provided where I live. The big problem is when I don't eat my blood sugars drop real low. Then I eat and they will jump up for awhile. I know this is not good for me but I can't see to remember that I must eat through the day, I'm just not hungry to remind me. People have told me to set an alarm clock. Maybe I should but it all is a "pain in the ass". But I do know how important it is to take care of myself, no one else can do it!

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-03-04 11:52:04 -0600 Report

Thank you Gabby for such a good topic. I live in an Assisted Living situation and pre-weighing my food is impossible, as we all eat in a main diningroom, the food is served to us. I've taught myself to do the best I can by eye-balling it. I must say myself, it works pretty good for me as my BS stay fairly low and does my A1C's. My last A1C was 5.6…but weighing is the correct way to know exactly what's on your plate. Portion control is a must. I was told to keep my carbs at 60 or a little below to maintain your weight I keep mine at about 55 to loose weight. My calorie intake per-day is 1400. I like to keep that at about 1200 to 1300. Portion control really takes place in this situation. All this was told to me by my Rheumatologist. Hi to all my old friends and glad to know you to my new ones. IT'S GREAT TO BE BACK…hugs to you all…

lanykins 2014-03-09 11:24:21 -0500 Report

I live in a senior housing facility. Part of the rent covers one full dinner a day. But they refuse to make meals for diabetics. There are so many of us here. I get served a lot of starch but they don't serve enough vegetables to give up the starch and have enough to eat. I try going to my apt. still hungry and then eat yogurt and something with protein.

GabbyPA 2014-03-16 10:53:10 -0500 Report

If they only provide one meal a day, can you eat veggies and better foods for the rest of the day so when it comes to dinner you don't feel you have to eat the "not so good" stuff?

MarkS 2014-03-03 12:33:53 -0600 Report

Medtronic has an on-line training course that is excellent with regard to portion size and carbs per portion. It is worth checking out.

Coach Cheryl
Coach Cheryl 2014-03-02 12:35:45 -0600 Report

Some great visuals and good to get people started. I find with myself and my clients that portioning can become very stressful especially with all the conflicting information out there. What I have found has worked consistently is first using a different food model, the Mediterranean Diet Food Pyramid is balanced and is perfect for healthy eating whether diabetic or not, but it's emphasis on root vegetables, nuts and grains is especially good for diabetics and then using the divided plate method. If you are trying to lose weight you can still use both of these just lower the calorie intake. I do recommend myfitnesspal.com which you can use at home on your computer or the phone app if you are able. The only thing that I dislike about myfitnesspal is it allows for too much sodium, halving the amount it suggests is better in my opinion.

Glucerna 2014-03-01 21:05:23 -0600 Report

Have you seen the news about the updates to food labels? One of the changes is going to be making the serving size listed on the label reflect the amount people typically eat. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdat... My question is if the portion sizes are larger, won't people think they're supposed to eat more? ~Lynn @Glucerna

JaredLahti 2014-03-02 16:18:00 -0600 Report

The upside to this is people are not fooled thinking that a 20 oz. soda has less calories and sugar than it really does. I am in favor of the changes on so called single serving items that have "multiple" servings like Otis spunkmeyer muffins in particular.

theladyiscrazy 2014-03-02 16:06:25 -0600 Report

That blows my mind too Glucerna. On one hand they are saying, Americans in particular, are eating too much and not controlling their portion sizes but then they go and have the food relabeled (or trying to) to increase the portion sizes. Isn't that a contradiction?

rebl 2014-03-01 20:57:46 -0600 Report

Actually Gabby I eat very little, and only two meals each day. I am 6'2" and weigh only 155. I am at least 20 or 25 lbs underweight for my height. My Stomach will not hold very much, and I never experience hunger. I have learned over the years that the lower my weight the less insolent I have to take. Some times I have to force feed myself to counteract the insolent I have taken. That photo of me was taken in Estes Park, Colorado several years ago. The hill behind me was covered with Elk, hundreds of them. My younger son lives just three or four miles away.


GabbyPA 2014-03-02 14:32:56 -0600 Report

I love Estes Park. One of my favorite places is the Pondrrosa Lodge just outside the National Park. I stay there whenever I get a chance. Love, love Colorado.

I have to say I wish I had your lifestyle of eating. It's amazing how different we all can be.

lanykins 2014-03-01 09:04:05 -0600 Report

Portion sizes are so hard for me. I went to a nutritionist and when she showed me the size of anything I said "Are you serious?" Even the size of the glass for milk! Using a smaller plate doesn't fool me. I always want what I used to have. I also miss juice SO much. I just drink lots of water. I want Diet-Coke but drink iced tea or coffee using Splenda for sweetener. This portion size is a killer for me.

Glucerna 2014-03-01 21:13:44 -0600 Report

You're right that we're used to eating large portions, and even glasses and plates are bigger now than they used to be. I like to remind people that a serving size on the label is a unit of measure. It doesn't mean you can only eat one serving. You can eat multiple servings as long as you take into account the total amount of calories, carbohydrate, fat, etc you're getting from multiple servings. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Glucerna 2014-03-01 21:06:44 -0600 Report

Have you seen the news about the updates to food labels? One of the changes is going to be making the serving size listed on the label reflect the amount people typically eat. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdat... My question is if the portion sizes are larger, won't people think they're supposed to eat more? ~Lynn @Glucerna

joann r
joann r 2014-03-01 09:01:00 -0600 Report

Thanks Gabby for the portion control video. I usually use measuring cups & look at the box & serve myself the portion size for that food. I also sometimes use a divided plate which helps too. As always there is so much great info on here!!

stonehedge 2014-03-01 06:43:38 -0600 Report

hi gabby—long time no talk to you—-reason being im doing great—thanks to you and this web sight——still on no meds—-b. s. fine——food—well lets just say eat what ever is the best for your blood sugar .with enough common sense and training and practise—-you will better your life—-just common sense—im lucky i live in the country can eat wild game canning my own food—-garden fresh veggies. ect ect—-harder in town living—-but—-as the little train said—-i think i can i think i can—and you can

alfie mae
alfie mae 2014-03-01 00:43:22 -0600 Report

I watched the slide show and enjoyed some of the new visuals that I had not seen before, like the shot glass and golf ball. I do have a question though, why is white wine never mentioned? Is it really all that different from red wine?

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher 2014-03-01 01:00:17 -0600 Report

Red wine is thought to have ingredients from grape skins that help mediate blood glucose levels. Red wine is made from the "must" (pulp) of red or black grapes and fermentation occurs together with the grape skins, which give the wine its color. White wine is made by fermenting juice which is made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice; the skins are removed and play no further role.

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher 2014-03-01 00:05:22 -0600 Report

Sorry, you don't measure food by volume, you measure it by weight. Ever notice nutrition labels? They are in grams, not cups, nor dice, nor fists. Get a nutritional kitchen scale and weigh what you eat. Select foods that have a low GI. After a while you will know how much 4 oz of fish, beef, chicken is and also their caloric value. Don't guess by volume, know by weight what you eat.

haoleboy 2014-03-01 00:44:40 -0600 Report

not all of us carry a scale when we are out and about. size (volume) is a handy way to make sure you aren't over indulging.

Glucerna 2014-02-28 23:22:27 -0600 Report

Have you seen the news about the updates to food labels? One of the changes is going to be making the serving size listed on the label reflect the amount people typically eat. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdat... My question is if the portion sizes are larger, won't people think they're supposed to eat more? ~Lynn @Glucerna

Glucerna 2014-02-28 23:19:51 -0600 Report

Have you seen the news about the updates to food labels? One of the changes is going to be making the serving size listed on the label reflect the amount people typically eat. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdat... My question is if the portion sizes are larger, won't people think they're supposed to eat more? ~Lynn @Glucerna

JaredLahti 2014-02-28 19:09:16 -0600 Report

for the most part I do a pretty good job on portion control. The areas where I don't do nearly as well is cereal, vegetables and fruit. As a matter of fact my wife makes fun of my work lunch because it weighs about 5lbs cause of my fruits and vegetables. Now trust me I know that the cereal thing can be bad, but I am also an endurance athlete so I know what I am able to get away with as well.

Richard157 2014-02-28 19:03:28 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby!! You can find the "Idaho Plate Method" on your browser. It suggests using a smaller plate, and can be applied to eating appropriate foods in appropriate amounts, suitable for your type of diabetes. Later on a still smaller plate can be used in a corresponding way. This process can be continued, but it would take a lot of will power to stick with it. The plate will always look full, even when it is small. The psychological effect is there, if it works for you.

GabbyPA 2014-03-01 14:57:01 -0600 Report

I have eaten on smaller plates for most of my life. That does help. Its the going back or not having the right amount of food on the plate. A small plate is okay, until you fill it with spaghetti. LOL

spirit7 2014-02-28 18:45:59 -0600 Report

hmmm. Good question which can be taken many ways. Food wise and also how much is going on in your life that affects your blood sugars. I always go for the low-carb option, has kept my weight steady since 2008. I don't count calories, I count carbs. Last A1C 5.7 a bit high for my liking but its been a hell of a winter on the east coast!

Ralph 2014-02-28 18:26:38 -0600 Report

Hi, I have started using an app on my phone called myfitnesspal. It has a scan bar so you can scan a product and it will give you the serving size, cal, and such. It has helped me because it also has a setting which you put in your weight and desired weight, how tall you are, male or female, and age. It will them tell you how many calories you need to eat to reach your desired weight. Each day you input all you eat and it keeps up at each meal and snacks with how much you have left for that day. This has helped me with how much I eat and holds me responsible for what I eat.So far I like it.

sherryleigh 2014-02-28 17:58:24 -0600 Report

I have a diabetic plate that portions out what I can eat for each FOOD group.
It's cool it has lid also. One of the drug companies sent it to me

MSHood 2014-03-04 10:16:14 -0600 Report

I always ask for salad dressing on the side. I dip every third bite or so and always have dressing left over. I also have a divided plate I use at home.

GabbyPA 2014-03-04 15:51:55 -0600 Report

Where do you get the divided plates? I have seen cafeteria plates, but not a 3 part divide, besides the disposable ones.

Fyremarshal 2014-02-28 16:11:22 -0600 Report

What I have done is used one of the 'lean cusine bowls and fill my food accordingly. I also have a little Organic pure Honey with my meals to keep the glucose on the good side.

Mrs. Alilce
Mrs. Alilce 2014-02-28 13:51:35 -0600 Report

9/10 times I use the smaller, salad plate and fill it once. 2-3 veg and a meat; fruit sometime in the day is usually snacks; bread or crackers limited.

simonizer77 2014-02-28 13:01:53 -0600 Report

Thank you for posting that! We can use any extra help. Something I'd like to share with everyone. Old Orchard makes a juice line endorsed by the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). The are called Healthy Balance and their are about 8 flavors. In New Mexico, I get them at Albertson's. Walmart does not carry yet.

rebl 2014-02-28 12:58:34 -0600 Report

Hey Gabby:
The secret to good eating is to eat food from the four basic food groups at each meal. Of course you have to know what those four groups are. Well, I am about to tell you. They are Fast, Frozen, Junk and Microwave.



33suz 2014-02-28 12:41:44 -0600 Report

Portion control is the hardest part of watching my carbs because of my diabetes. I look to hungrygirl.com for help in making my portions larger but not more caloric and sparkpeople.com to keep me on track. They have teams specifically for folks who have diabetes as well as numerous teams for people with a variety of interests. Bottom line portion control is hard but having and using good tools (food scale, diagrams, charts, food logs, etc.) makes it easier.

jigsaw 2014-02-28 10:39:10 -0600 Report

The portion sizes shown, definitely clarify the concept in general. I wish i could eat much greater portions with no adverse affects! The fact is that portion control is an everyday part of my life.

jayabee52 2014-02-28 09:51:05 -0600 Report

Thanks for sharing that Gabby,

However when I went through the slideshow I noticed that about 85% of the food pictured is not what I can eat (between my T2 and my CKD) Then I noticed that this was aimed at the general public who wanted to lose weight, NOT necessarily to People with diabetes,

And much of the foods I could eat, I already had heard those "eyeball" guestimates from my nutritonists. (But how does one eyeball a thin cut round steak?)

I still prefer the use of sites like ~ http://nutritiondata.self.com/ to provide serving sizes.

God's best to you


GabbyPA 2014-03-01 15:00:28 -0600 Report

These are the sizes I have been taught by my diabetes class and nutritionist. It is a good way to help you figure out your portions when you are away from home or on the go.

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