Is your portion size healthy?

Is your portion size healthy?

May 27, 2012, Sunday/ 12:56:00/ MERVE TUNÇEL

A huge plate topped with just a dash of meat, pilaf and veggies…a potential nightmare for would-be dieters.

But to those who say “let both your stomach and eyes be satisfied,” dietician Banu Kazanç responds with an innovative design concept: the healthy-living plate set. These uniquely designed plates will show you exactly how much you should eat.

The oft-heard Turkish dieter’s law: one portion of fruit, 2 slices of tomatoes, 3 pieces of olives and a matchbox-size piece of cheese. A familiar litany, and yet portion sizes, despite being a frequent topic of discussion, remain a mystery to us. Beginning a diet with this set of rules can lead to such large servings of virtuous foods that we end up fooling ourselves about the number of calories we’re actually consuming. Dietician Kazanç has a surprise for those struggling slimmers: a healthy-living plate set that automatically measures small portions by its design.

Kazanç knows dieters complain about portion sizes, and are generally confused by the issue. On a huge plate, a normal size meal can appear tiny, encouraging dieters to gobble up junk food. A common mistake. Kazanç first came up with the idea for the reduced plate size after eating out at a restaurant. Despite having prepared a new diet regime for herself, she experienced a lot of regret after the meal. After asking herself, “Do I really need to eat such large portions?” the flame was lit. She immediately went to work, pitching the concept to Sema Güral from the Kütahya Seramik Board of Directors. The company loved it, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Shrink the plate, lose weight without fail

Dietician Kazanç, together with Kütahya Seramik, took a year to develop and design the healthy-living plate set. Kazanç gave a presentation at the Ürünün Sapanca Güral Hotel declaring the claim that you should satisfy both your eyes and stomach with food to be incorrect. The specially designed plates, which come in gold and platinum, are not only targeted at dieters but anybody interested in healthy eating. The plates offer more than just portion control: They are marked with the amount of meat, grain and salad you should eat. Don’t think just because you’re eating vegetables you can have the entire pot. The plates account for calories and grams and are available as an 11-piece set for one person. A breakfast set is also available. Because the project is still in the testing phase, the sets are only being sold in small numbers at the moment, but if they catch on, larger sets may be sold to hotels and restaurants.

If you’re trying to lose weight

In Kazanç’s view, the feeling of restriction people experience when eating smaller portion sizes can be alleviated. To achieve this, she says, dieticians’ practices must include smaller plates. You can eat soup at every meal in order to fill up more easily and therefore eat less food, and also make room in your diet for sweets and dried fruits and nuts twice a week. You should choose one option from the grain family (rice, pasta, bulgur rice) each week, and try to eat beans only two days a week. Don’t eat fruit with your meals, but instead have it as a snack. Diabetics especially should watch the amount of fruit they consume. Muesli is a delicious alternative for breakfast, but give yourself permission to enjoy breakfast on Sundays. Within your smaller portions you can make room for more variety.