Eating smaller portions of your favourite foods works in many ways. First and foremost, you get to eat the foods you love.
For example, it’s fine for people with diabetes to eat desserts; they just need to be restricted to small portions and eaten after a full meal.
By eating smaller portions of food you’ll also begin to have a healthier view of food.
Although the food guidelines today allow people with diabetes to choose from a wide array of foods, portion size is still important.
It may seem unlikely that just one extra chicken wing, piece of toast or another teaspoon of oil makes a difference, but they do.
Those extra kilojoules will make it that much more difficult for you to lose weight or manage your blood glucose levels.
Some examples of a ‘correct’ portion of food:
- 1 cup breakfast cereal or 1⁄2 cup muesli
- 85–100 g roast beef, ham, lamb or chicken
- 115–140 g cooked fillet of white or oily fish (not fried in batter)
- 1 cup boiled rice or pasta
- 1 medium-sized potato or sweet potato
- 40 g low-fat tasty cheese
- 1 small tub low-fat, low-sugar yogurt
It is important to eat three balanced meals a day. Some people have healthy snacks as well.
The most recent research suggests that people who have three moderate meals a day achieve more prolonged weight loss than people who snack during the day.
This may be due to the total amount of kilojoules consumed.
Therefore, if you are aiming to lose weight, limit your food and kilojoule intake from snacks.
Of course, your body is unique and the nature of your diabetes will affect the frequency with which you need to eat.
For the best results, it’s a good idea to work with a dietitian to come up with a good plan for dividing your meals up throughout the day.