Portion Perfection by Dietitian Amanda Clark
Portion Perfection is a visual weight control plan that helps readers make more informed decisions about how much is right to eat.
"Knowing your correct portion sizes for breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner can keep you on track if you want to lose or maintain weight," says Portion Perfection author and dietitian Amanda Clark.
"For the most part, we haven't noticed our portion sizes have increased over the years and there is good evidence we wouldn't notice if they decreased again." (E.g. 20 years ago, a Mars Bar was 135 calories, now they're 370!)
Amanda Clark is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian. In 2006 she received one of the highest accolades in her profession when she won the Dietitians Association of Australia's 'National Innovation Award'. Amanda has spent the past 15 years reviewing other nutrition authors' work for listing of the best on her online bookshop at www.greatideas.net.au
Portion Perfection shows:
* Exactly how much is right to eat if you want to lose or maintain weight (we're talking plate sizes of foods with how many calories they typically contain so you can physically SEE how much 200, etc. calories is)
* Over 150 recognisable brands of packaged foods, so you can be more selective in what you buy and more aware of your calorie intake
* Practical portion guidance on a wide range of everyday foods.
The bottom line
"It is possible to eat fish and chips occasionally without gaining weight, or to snack on chocolate now and then and still have a healthy diet," says Amanda.
"When you know how much is right to eat, you can feel less guilty about eating higher calorie foods occasionally. You can also eat out regularly and still lose weight."
Get the book
The book is available at selected bookstores and www.greatideas.net.au for $34.99. The Portion Perfection book is supported by optional plates and bowls developed as useful tools for controlling portion sizes (picture right).
Amanda's tips: How to eat what you want without feeling guilty
1. Get the portion size right. For weight loss, a snack ideally contains about 100 calories (equivalent to a Freddo Frog) and for weight maintenance, 200 calories (equivalent to a giant Freddo).
2. Pretend you are a food critic and analyse every mouthful.
3. With each bite, consider whether you need more or whether you would feel okay if the plate was empty.
4. When eating out, think about the choice of outlet and look for the availability of vegetables or salad. If the meals available are really just made of meat and bread, potato or other starchy foods, then keep looking.
5. Stick to one or two courses depending on your energy needs, and watch out for calorie-containing drinks. If you choose to drink wine, keep a glass of water handy and whenever you are reaching for a drink to quench your thirst or wash down food, go for the water. Enjoy every sip of the wine.
6. Skipping the bread can be wise and be aware of oily sauces. Expect everything will have added fat, so go for smaller serves than usual. Order extra vegetables or salad if you are still hungry.
7. Focus on the atmosphere, the company, the quality of the food and less on the quantity consumed.
8. Try to avoid buffets – they are a trap for even the most wary. (See Amanda's tips for how to enjoy a guilt-free buffet)
9. When you choose to eat higher calorie foods, make them last. Part of satisfaction comes from the length of time you are exposed to those ideal tastes, textures and aromas. Use conscious eating strategies to satisfy your mind as well as your stomach.