Manual The Portion Teller Plan: The No Diet Reality Guide to Eating, Cheating, and Losing Weight Permanently

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  1. Home - Dr. Lisa Young, PhD, RDN
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  3. Reward Yourself
  4. The Portion Teller Plan: The No Diet Reality Guide to Eating Cheating and Losing Weight Permanently
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Young, Ph. Young has been counseling overweight adults and children for more than 15 years, has published numerous articles on portion sizes, and frequently lectures on nutrition.


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By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. The same complaints came up over and over again: The food is boring. I feel hungry. I feel deprived. There are too many rules. The most common lament was: How can I possibly follow all these rules for the rest of my life? I saw firsthand that no matter how successful a strict diet is in the short term, it rarely works in the long run.

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Home - Dr. Lisa Young, PhD, RDN

At the same time as I was learning these stories of dieting failures from my clients, I started noticing something going on around me—the size of food was growing. I noted the extra mound of pasta at dinner, the increase in the diameter of a pizza, the ballooning of bagels, the upward creep of all fast-food and restaurant portions.

Along with the supersize culture came a supersize America that has collectively gained weight at an unprecedented rate in the past few decades. As I gathered more information about the growth of portion sizes for my Ph. Instead of seeing just another muffin, I wanted my clients to see a huge muffin.

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And then smartsize it! Not only are they hard to follow, but they seem to ignore how large our foods have become. Look around you at the diet programs today— almost all of them are based on the idea that you have to cut certain foods, or even entire food groups, from your diet. The entire diet industry seems to focus on what we put in our mouths rather than how much of it we consume.

This approach is at odds with how people really eat. Did you know that a typical bagel today has almost the same calories and nutrient value as five slices of bread? All you need to do is to smartsize instead of super-size. You can eat what you want as long as it fits into your own eating plan. The beauty of this program is that you can take it as far as you want; you can work the entire program, which includes detailed instructions on how to keep the Portion Teller Diary, tips and activities for downsizing your portions, and specific strategies for dining out, shopping, and making your home more portion-friendly.

Or you can choose instead to focus on a basic understanding of portion sizes and put portion control into action in your daily life, leaving a few bites on your plate at a restaurant, eating only half a sandwich, or switching from a large glass of orange juice to a fresh orange.

If you make these changes and no others, you can lose between ten to twenty pounds in one year without even feeling the pinch of deprivation. Small, simple changes add up. What it does offer is a time-tested, personalized, and sane alternative to unhealthy crash diets with short-term results. Smartsizing works. Instead, you will see your food in terms of healthy portions.

Again, the choice of exactly how much and what you eat will be up to you. The Portion Teller program gives you everything you need to make your own choices, eat the foods that you love, and still lose weight and keep it off. One America Expands I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I lost is fourteen days. We spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and money on weight-loss programs, diet pills, shakes, prepackaged low-cal meals, fat- and sugar-free foods, and the latest diet books and products that promise a quick fix for our weight problems.

The sad fact is that our investments are not paying off. No matter what we seem to do, we are gaining weight. And lots of it. Recent studies show that almost two-thirds of American adults are overweight. This is a staggering statistic, one that confounds nutritionists as well as the average person who wants to maintain a healthy weight. Are we a nation of gluttons? I don't think so. It's the size of our food, not the size of our appetites that's to blame.

The portions, servings, helpings, slices, and amounts of what we eat have grown dramatically over the past few decades. Just look around: Everywhere you go, you are encouraged to buy huge sizes.

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A Double Gulp at 7-Eleven is nearly calories. The jumbo bucket of popcorn at a movie theater is up to 1, calories. When presented with all this food, who can blame us? We can't help but eat more calories than we can burn. So we gain weight. As the portion sizes offered to us have gotten bigger, so have we.

The Portion Teller Plan: The No Diet Reality Guide to Eating Cheating and Losing Weight Permanently

Since I'm a nutritionist by training, I had some idea that America's collective waistline was growing, but it really hit me when I saw a dietary intake survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in The shocking results? That might not sound like a lot, but compare it to earlier decades. In the s and s, the average weight of American adults increased only slightly, by a pound or two at most in the course of each decade. It's not just that we were heavier than ever, but we were gaining weight at a much faster rate.

Why had weight gain accelerated so rapidly in such a short period of time? I knew it couldn't be genetic; the gene pool simply doesn't change that fast.

What was it? But I knew that these explanations couldn't possibly be the whole enchilada. I looked into the national exercise trends and found that there was virtually no change in exercise patterns during that time. So it had to be something else, something circumstantial, a change in our culture that was causing such a rapid weight gain in just three decades. I suspected that the cause was portion sizes. I figured our national weight gain had more to do with how much we eat than what we eat.

So I went to look at the research that had been done on portion sizes, to see if there was a connection between the trend toward supersized food portions and weight gain. To my surprise, there was no research. Look around you at the diet programs today— almost all of them are based on the idea that you have to cut certain foods, or even entire food groups, from your diet.

The entire diet industry seems to focus on what we put in our mouths rather than how much of it we consume. This approach is at odds with how people really eat. Did you know that a typical bagel today has almost the same calories and nutrient value as five slices of bread? All you need to do is to smartsize instead of super-size. You can eat what you want as long as it fits into your own eating plan.

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The beauty of this program is that you can take it as far as you want; you can work the entire program, which includes detailed instructions on how to keep the Portion Teller Diary, tips and activities for downsizing your portions, and specific strategies for dining out, shopping, and making your home more portion-friendly.

Or you can choose instead to focus on a basic understanding of portion sizes and put portion control into action in your daily life, leaving a few bites on your plate at a restaurant, eating only half a sandwich, or switching from a large glass of orange juice to a fresh orange. If you make these changes and no others, you can lose between ten to twenty pounds in one year without even feeling the pinch of deprivation.

Small, simple changes add up. What it does offer is a time-tested, personalized, and sane alternative to unhealthy crash diets with short-term results. Smartsizing works. Instead, you will see your food in terms of healthy portions. Again, the choice of exactly how much and what you eat will be up to you.

How to Lose Weight and Get More Energy in 15 Days

The Portion Teller program gives you everything you need to make your own choices, eat the foods that you love, and still lose weight and keep it off. One America Expands I've been on a diet for two weeks and all I lost is fourteen days. We spend enormous amounts of time, energy, and money on weight-loss programs, diet pills, shakes, prepackaged low-cal meals, fat- and sugar-free foods, and the latest diet books and products that promise a quick fix for our weight problems.

The sad fact is that our investments are not paying off. No matter what we seem to do, we are gaining weight. And lots of it. Recent studies show that almost two-thirds of American adults are overweight. This is a staggering statistic, one that confounds nutritionists as well as the average person who wants to maintain a healthy weight. Are we a nation of gluttons? I don't think so. It's the size of our food, not the size of our appetites that's to blame. The portions, servings, helpings, slices, and amounts of what we eat have grown dramatically over the past few decades.

Just look around: Everywhere you go, you are encouraged to buy huge sizes.

A Double Gulp at 7-Eleven is nearly calories. The jumbo bucket of popcorn at a movie theater is up to 1, calories. When presented with all this food, who can blame us? We can't help but eat more calories than we can burn. So we gain weight. As the portion sizes offered to us have gotten bigger, so have we. Since I'm a nutritionist by training, I had some idea that America's collective waistline was growing, but it really hit me when I saw a dietary intake survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in The shocking results?

That might not sound like a lot, but compare it to earlier decades. In the s and s, the average weight of American adults increased only slightly, by a pound or two at most in the course of each decade. It's not just that we were heavier than ever, but we were gaining weight at a much faster rate. Why had weight gain accelerated so rapidly in such a short period of time? I knew it couldn't be genetic; the gene pool simply doesn't change that fast. What was it? But I knew that these explanations couldn't possibly be the whole enchilada.

I looked into the national exercise trends and found that there was virtually no change in exercise patterns during that time. So it had to be something else, something circumstantial, a change in our culture that was causing such a rapid weight gain in just three decades. I suspected that the cause was portion sizes. I figured our national weight gain had more to do with how much we eat than what we eat. So I went to look at the research that had been done on portion sizes, to see if there was a connection between the trend toward supersized food portions and weight gain.

To my surprise, there was no research. Nobody seemed to have done any, not professors, government nutritionists, or weight-loss counselors. In fact, very few people even noticed that our food portions were growing so quickly. I couldn't find any hard-and-fast information on how big our food portions are, what portions weigh, how much they've changed over time, and how they compare to federal standards like the U.

Here I was, surrounded by nutrition experts and academics, and no one was talking about, much less studying, portion sizes. I decided to conduct my own research. I spent a rather hot summer riding my bicycle around Manhattan, talking to deli owners, restaurateurs, and fast-food workers, asking them all sorts of questions about what they were serving and what people were eating. What I found was appalling.

I had no idea how enormous typical food servings had become.

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I found bagels the size of seat cushions and muffins as big as a bread loaf. I took pictures of all-you-can-eat buffets and pasta plates overflowing with pounds of noodles and tubs of sauce. I measured cups, plates, wineglasses, and margarita buckets, all gargantuan in size. I combed through Zagat , the popular restaurant guide, and found restaurants praised for their all-you-can-eat salad bars and buffets, free refills, two-for-ones, and troughs of pasta, all of which customers consider a selling point, with entries touting "Godzilla-sized burgers," "the biggest subs in the city," and "food piled high on the plate.

My findings: The foods we buy today are often two to three times, even five times , larger than when they were first introduced into the marketplace. Little Caesars sells the Big! Pizza, with the large measuring 16 to 18 inches with a slogan that says: "Bigger is better! By they were selling the ounce Double Gulp, a half-gallon of soda marketed for one person.