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Portion size secret to weight loss

Tue., April 6, 2010

The moment finally arrived.

Ten weeks after my right hip replacement, my primary care physician, Dr. Huong Duong, told me I need to start exercising 30 minutes a day and lose 25 pounds at the rate of one pound a week.

“You will do this easily,” says Janie Williams, 67, who studied for her Ph.D. in nutrition and has been counseling dieters for almost 40 years.

Williams offers a “health tip of the month” at and I know gals who have lost excess baggage by sticking to her “eating in the zone” diet.

Q. What’s the secret?

A. Portion size. Every meal is a portion. By doing it my way, you will automatically calculate the number of calories you body needs.

First is the amount of protein. No bigger than the size and thickness of the palm of your hand (no fingers!) Put that amount of low-fat protein on your plate at each meal.

Half your meal should be vegetables with very few fruits. At least five cups of nonstarchy vegetables. Remember fruits turn to sugar and sugar turns to fat.

The other fourth should be starchy carbs — bread, pasta, dessert, potatoes, corn, peas.

Q. Sounds easy.

A. You want to eat alkaline foods because they are best for you. Chicken, turkey, fish but no shellfish.

When we eat processed foods and junk, like potato chips, it makes our body acidic. The purpose of fat is to protect major organs from toxicity and acidic foods let the fat hang on the body.

And you have to hydrate. Take your desired weight and divide by two and that’s the number of ounces you should drink daily.

Q. No cheese unless low fat. Shellfish is pure cholesterol. Give up soft drinks and beverages sweetened with aspartame. Alcohol?

A. Have a little and enjoy. You have to have a life.

Many of my people pack a lunch sandwich at home made with good quality bread, protein and vegetables. They cut the sandwich into fourths and eat one-fourth between breakfast and lunch and another between lunch and dinner. You need a little snack.

Q. How do you select bread?

A. If you can squeeze the bread and it goes in, it has a lot of yeast in it. Avoid it.

Q. Other tips?

A. Shop around the perimeter of the store. After you eat, wash your teeth and get the food out and drink water. Your body will say it is satisfied.

If more people did the palm-of-hand measurement, there would be no obesity in children or adults.

Q. I need to lose a pound a week, my doctor says.

A. If you watch the fat content of food, it’s easy to lower calories by 500 a day. Most people eat 3,500 calories daily so eliminating 500 calories should translate into one pound a week. Make it your lifestyle and you will keep it off.

Q. Sounds like a lot of salad days ahead.

A. One cup of lettuce with a half-cup of four or five vegetables makes a great salad. Cut the dressing with water or, if you are in a restaurant, ask for the dressing on the side and dip your fork into the dressing and then onto the salad. Remember your salad is not a little bit of salad with dressing but a little bit of dressing with your salad.

Q. You are available for counseling?

A. Call me at (949) 614-3370 or e-mail

Stick with my plan and you’ll lose a pound a week and never gain it back.

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