1 Mealtime Mistake That’s Making You Gain Weight

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1 Mealtime Mistake That’s Making You Gain Weight

The next time you sit down to eat, take a good long look at your plate before you dig in. The food you’re eating and the way you prepared it might be totally healthy, but there could be another, almost invisible factor causing you to eat more than you originally intended to. And if you’re interested in losing or maintaining your weight, letting this little mistake slip under the radar could be getting in the way of your goals.

Your portion sizes might be too big, and the way you plate your food could be the reason why. Your healthy-eating game plan seems airtight: You diligently set your brown rice down, top it with a lean protein like chicken, and finish things off with veggies. But here’s the rub: Arranging your food in this format may cause you to accidentally pack on too much of some foods and too little of others. According to Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., owner of The Wellness Whisk, when you plate your carbohydrate and protein first, “by the time you get to the veggies, there’s little room left on the plate.” In a well-rounded meal, she says, veggies should be the main focus. So you don’t want to plop them on the plate like an afterthought.


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“Changing the way you view your meal to make the vegetable section your primary focus is so important because they contain all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water your body needs,” Yeung explains. So what’s the best way to plate your food? Veggies first, then protein, then grains—if it sounds upside down, that’s because it is. This method, developed by Yeung, is called plating backwards, and it’s an extremely simple solution to the common too-big-portion problem.

Making it a mealtime habit is easy. When you plate, Yeung says you’ll want to aim for your portions to be 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent carbohydrates. If you plate the classic way (carbs, protein, vegetables) you’re more likely to end up with 50 percent carbs and 25 percent vegetables. To strike the right balance, she says, “Start by filling about half your plate with vegetables, then add protein and carbohydrates in about equal portions.” And if you’re still unsure about your portion sizes, she suggests using MyPlate’s visuals as a guideline.

While Yeung primarily likes to use this method at home, she says you can also apply it to mealtime at buffet-style situations, and even while choosing an item from a restaurant menu. Using this trick forces you to look at your meal in a different way. So when you’re flipping through dinner options, whether it be on Seamless or at your favorite Mexican spot, you’ll be more inclined to spot the dishes with larger vegetable portions.

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111 responses to “1 Mealtime Mistake That’s Making You Gain Weight”

  1. Avatar InnocentJameis says:

    Whatever tub tub moron wrote that piece of warm garbage wasted their time. Not too much time though, as they couldn’t even proofread it or correct typos or mistakes

  2. Avatar Jayjay says:

    Perhaps someone could invest in a proofreader if you plan on posting this for people to read.

    • Avatar TJ says:

      Maybe you could keep your snarky comments to yourself?

      • Avatar collaroygal says:

        Jayjay is correct. These are very short articles, no reason to have such mistakes as :
        Yeung says you’ll want to aim for your portions to be 50 percent non-starchy vegetables, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent carbohydrates

        And she doesn’t mention fats at all. How do you think your body gets most of the vitamins delivered? it is via fats.

        • Avatar dick says:

          Wate is tha typo mestake?

        • Avatar davedave12 says:

          Dumbo, you do not make room on the plate for fat – fat is in side the meat or maybe the cooking oil — you do not make a portion for fat

          • Avatar Evalen says:

            Wow you have a attitude problem saying not to eat like a pig and calling someone Dumbo.
            Actually she is right, fat is important in your diet. There are good fats and there are bad fats. Portion control is the ans. We can also eat to much of a good thing. Most fats in meat is not really good for you. things like olive oil, and coconut oil are good fats for you.

      • Avatar christabel says:

        People who write for a living should know how to do it.

  3. Avatar Cosmixd says:

    Veggies should be the main focus haha OK Mrs secret vegan

  4. Avatar Frank says:

    Get a food scale. Input your macros in the morning and diligently stick to them. Don’t guesstimate, especially with starch and sugar. You will almost always under estimate.

    • Avatar davedave12 says:

      if you just remember to not eat like a pig, you do not need a food scale — life is not that complicated — Protein –size of your palm, fat– size of your thumb, carb/starch — what fits in your cupped palm — veggies, as much as everything else put together – pretty much all you want unless you have drowned them in cheese

      • Avatar Aaron Young says:

        “if you just remember to not eat like a pig,” <–that's sound advice (sarcasm). There is nothing wrong with adding precision with a food scale. Eventually that will help folks get a feel for how much food they're eating and they can eyeball their portions but your cookie cutter one size fits all approach is missing the mark. What works for you doesn't work for everyone and tracking portions and macros will work WONDERs for folks who struggle with weight. It also aids in discipline–but who needs discipline? Just do what your supposed to do and don't do what you're not supposed to do right?

      • Avatar Patrick Henry says:

        You are an a$$, the only protein you should put in your mouth is sperm.

      • Avatar Diane923 says:

        If you eat out often, you will lose your sense of what a good portion size should be. “Eat like a pig” is a slur on people with eating disorders – good nutrition shouldn’t be used as a club to make value judgements on people. Your answer sounds like you are a nutrition snob who never had an over- or under-weight problem. The article at least sticks to the topic and gives a nod to the difficulties that some people do have with what seems so simple to someone like you.

        • Avatar davedave12 says:

          Eating right is extremely simple — not easy, but extremely simple– just look at any cake or donut, at home or the office — the fit people are not wolfing it down. overweight people eat too much, simple

          • Avatar lopear11 says:

            Not true. I have been overweight since I was 6 yrs old. My younger sister ate much more than I did, but she was quite thin. My father always used to say to me, ” I don’t understand why you are so heavy, you barely eat anything!”. Turns out, I had a metabolic disorder (that was undiagnosed until I was in my 20s). By that time, I had already been on numerous diets (my first one being when I was 6), so my metabolism was wrecked. Also by that time, I had developed an unhealthy relationship with food. It didn’t help that every other week, the “experts” are constantly changing their minds about what is good food or bad food… one week bread is out, the next week they tell you not to skip bread… then it’s — FAT IS THE ENEMY!! Two years later (after losing 80 pounds and wrecking my gallbladder), I was told I wasn’t eating enough fat! Then it’s… eat a high protein diet… oh no wait.. meat is bad, vegan’s where it’s at! I could go on. Point being, don’t judge all overweight people the same. And you’re wrong.. I’ve seen and known many thin people who eat MORE sugar laden sweets and junk food than I ever thought of eating.

          • Avatar Not.An.Ass says:

            you’re an ass.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            Name calling, that makes you….. classy, mature helpful???

          • Avatar Jude Pilsworth says:

            So “eating like a pigl isn’t a childish comment??

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            glad you see it my way

          • Avatar Shelby Canuette says:

            I NEVER expected to see ugly talk on this site.

          • Avatar Daniel Gashinski says:

            Wrong, Davo. Sometimes metabolism illness causes weight gain too!! Ever hear of hypothyroidism? I eat 1600-2000 calories a day, and if I don’t work out everyday I gain weight. So slow down with the judgy comments and educate yourself.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            Ye cannae change the laws of physics! — my comment is correct for 98% of people. You cannot gain weight if you eat less than you burn regardless of whatever ever outlier disease you have

          • Avatar Daniel Gashinski says:

            Congratulations Dave, you’ve redefined ignorance.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            2000 calories will make anyone gain weight, if they weigh 110 pounds

        • Avatar TheElfHerself says:

          I usually intentionally separate my food so I have half leftover.

        • Avatar Pdiddy Dduh says:

          Its not a slur on people with eating disorders because they dont have one unless they are starving themselves which I dont think is what you mean. We have normalized obesity in the country. It takes a lot of work to stay fat eating a lot. How many calories does a 400 pound fatty consume a day to maintain that?

          • Avatar David Keys says:

            Pdiddy Dduh I am wasting my time because I can tell you are very arrogant. As an older person I am way overweight. As a person in my twenties I weighed around 130. I am 5 foot 10. I don’t as a hobby see how much I can consume. That being said I have no willpower whatsoever. I hope that you never have to deal with that. I had tons of willpower when I was younger. All I had to do was say I wasn’t going to do something and I didn’t have problem one not doing it. I am sorry you have such a disdain for people who have a problem. I don’t think that obesity has been normalized in this country. Instead I think it clearly shows how the majority of people have a problem that you obviously do not. I hope you never have that problem because it is heartbreaking to know that you look bad and hope people don’t think you look as bad as you feel. Even worse when you were not thinking about it, and you see your comments that make a person feel worse still. You very much have a wonderful day.

          • Avatar All1 says:

            As a bodacious woman I will remind you and myself at the same time. We only allow people to steal our joy. Delete the idiots with harsh words. They are cowards hiding in cyberspace! All the best to you!

          • Avatar Shelby Canuette says:

            NEVER expected to see ugly language on this site.

          • Avatar Yelizaveta Liza Golub says:

            The reason that people develop eating disorders is because they do starve themselves!!! Why does a person weigh 400 pounds? Because after being slightly overweight they go on diets and literally starve to death. Their evolutionary survival instinct kicks in which thinks they are literally going to die and starve to death. So the brain gets INTENSE urges to eat and not eat reasonably but eat like they will never see food again because the brain is literally under the impression that famine is about to strike and it needs to load up on food to survive. The person (incapable of fighting their survival instincts) feels like a failure because once again they were unable to fight off the “simple way of eating right” and they go on a more strict diet and the pattern repeats. Dave and Pdiddy, I do not know what you consider to be the hardest thing you have dealt with in life, but for obese people eating normally and without guilt is literally as hard as the hardest thing you have dealt with. How do I know this? I am a formerly morbidly obese child turned psychotherapist who is very familiar with eating disorders. If anyone is reading this read “brain over binge” for help with regulating eating and the urges/cravings or thinking about food literally all day long. If you are a person who struggles with any food issues, guilt, shame, or worthlessness, feel free to write me with your struggles (for free obviously) ylgtherapy@gmail.com

          • Avatar e.Bosselini says:

            I like what you have written here. Are you a licensed therapist or nutritionist? I own a personal training studio and I have clients that can use some mental fitness and motivation. Would love to discuss this more with you.

          • Avatar Yelizaveta Liza Golub says:

            Licensed Mental Health Counselor
            Feel free to email me at ylgtherapy@gmail.com

          • Avatar e.Bosselini says:

            Thank you so much for the response. I will email you soon.

          • Avatar Christina says:

            Love your answer! You did a great job at explaining reactive brain and eating issues. I wish everyone got this!!!! Thanks for sharing!

          • Avatar Yelizaveta Liza Golub says:

            Happy to spread knowledge and blessed to experience the freedom of the mental prison I was stuck in.

          • Avatar Carole says:

            I disagree with some of your comments. It is not necessarily that obese people “starve themselves on diets”. There is recent research that finds that eating carbohydrates and sugar DRIVES hunger. The more carbs and sugar one takes in the hungrier the person gets. Many obese people have insulin resistance and cannot lose weight because they cannot produce enough insulin to handle the overflow of sugar therefore both carbs and sugar are turned into FAT. It is a vicious cycle and more often a physical problem than a “psychological” one. Dr. Eric Westman has an excellent Utube video about the recent research of the hunger driven Obese and the solutions that are working.

          • Avatar Yelizaveta Liza Golub says:

            Carole, with all do respect the problem is maintained for psychological reasons. Follow me here…it may start as a medical issue (hypothyroidism, PCOS, crappy genetics, insulin resistance, etc) however, every single over weight man and woman I have met (and many people with normal BMI’s) have a couple of things in common…they have gone on strict and severe diets that eliminate whole food groups from their eating plan and are constantly plagued with ruminations about the fact that they are fat, worthless, and undeserving of what I consider the be basic human minimums (love and respect). They get in the starve binge cycle and their thoughts are constantly plagued with urges and cravings for food. They feel intense anxiety until they eat and when they do, the guilt follows and so does the next diet and self deprivation and deprication. It is maintained through social scrutiny from strangers and the people closest to them, but worse of all they choose to believe it as reality. Most thing can be treated, but when you are constantly failing, you stop trying and that can roll over into every other area of their life.

          • Avatar Carole says:

            Sorry but I do not buy it. This may be true for some. Finding the physiological reason for obesity is key. Once that is established, steps can be taken to help with weight loss success.

          • Avatar Carole says:

            Sorry but I do not buy it. This may be true for some. Finding the physiological reason for obesity is key. Once that is established, steps can be taken to help with weight loss success.

          • Avatar Marilee Jikey says:

            I agree. An eating attitude is like just about everything else in life, its psychological. We all have our physical limitations but eating is much more than cooking or ordering, using your knife & fork, chewing and swallowing. Some people are motivated by shaming and some are not. Some people made to feel worthless somehow develop an “Oh yeah, I’m going to prove you wrong” mentality and others fall victim to it. The mind is a complicated thing that no one really understands. xo

          • Avatar Shelby Canuette says:

            Have seen 2 people today use “do” when they mean due.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            I hat it when people due that

          • Avatar Norma Roberts says:

            The ignorant remarks by people who don’t know what it is like to just eat less and exercise more make you feel even more worthless and like a failure don’t help at all. It is clear they haven’t struggled with obesity and certainly nor for over 20 years the way I have. It takes a lot of effort to find something that works and a support group makes a lot of difference.

          • Avatar Jude Pilsworth says:

            I have found Keto diet has worked for me, low carb higher fat med protein lost me 22 lbs and I feel great

          • Avatar Carole says:

            Same here Jude. Keto is the only meal plan that has changed my blood work for the better and controlled what used to be an appetite that kept me constantly over eating. Thankfully those days are over.

          • Avatar Ellen Fleischer says:

            My n=1: I’m an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I eat 50% carbs or more daily. And I’ve dropped 95 lbs in 14 months doing it. Satiety varies from individual to individual. I couldn’t do keto because I don’t find high-fat all that satiating. When I focus on hitting my protein and iron RDAs and letting the rest fall where it falls, it generally falls moderate-to-high carb and lower fat.

            And I’m losing weight steadily without excessive hunger.

            I don’t really pay much attention to sugar; I’ve always had more of a salt tooth than a sweet one, but I make low-cal desserts and snack on dry cereal which, while not the super-sugary types, are on the sweet side.

          • Avatar Norma Roberts says:

            You obviously aren’t diabetic or you would be having MAJOR sugar problems. Diabetes generally comes with weight and high carbs. You have been lucky so far but need to watch for sugar problems.

          • Avatar Ellen Fleischer says:

            No, I’m not diabetic. I agree that for those who are, sugar and carb restrictions are necessary. But that doesn’t mean they’re necessary for everyone. Kind of like people with HBP need to watch their salt intake, but most studies show no link between higher salt consumption and HBP.

            I have regular checkups every six months. Since I’ve begun losing weight all markers have improved.

          • Avatar Norma Roberts says:

            Great you still have your health and are beating the weight problem. Still watch your blood sugar and NOT grapes taste great but pack a BIG sugar content that definitely kills your blood sugar – experience speaking. I didn’t think it made a difference until I had some one night and my sugar was way up the next morning.

          • Avatar Ellen Fleischer says:

            My HBA1C levels were at 5.1 last time I checked. And I have a cup of grapes with breakfast almost every day. Again, for those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic, sugar restriction makes sense. For those who aren’t, it’s not really important. (Unless the sugar calories are taking up too much space in the diet, leaving less room for more nutrient-dense options.)

          • Avatar Norma Roberts says:

            I had and still do have a weight problem and a large part of my problem is/was Iodine deficiency that the Docs called hypothyroidism and treated for 10 years with their synthetic thyroid harmones. I only gained weight their way, got fed up and stopped following their advice and started taking IODINE and quickly lost 85 pounds (still working on another 100 pounds) but I am having success. I am “dream shopping” for a new wardrobe to give me more motivation and seeing myself with a MUCH smaller body. I can do so much more and the compliments on the smaller body sure feel good.

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            silly – long winded too

          • Avatar Norma Roberts says:

            DaveDave12 – If you aren’t interested in learning something about how to lose weight, why are you hanging around and making negative comments?

          • Avatar davedave12 says:

            Good point, but you should not say “fatty” use the more neutral term “morbidly obese person”

        • Avatar davedave12 says:

          right – everything bad that happens is some one else’s fault the bad restaurants are brain washing me boo hoo wha wah wah

      • Avatar Navreet says:

        Posts like yours are not welcome in this community. If eating well and being active could be achieved by saying things like “don’t be a pig” we wouldn’t be here.

        • Avatar davedave12 says:

          You replied to a year old comment — computer was too far from the couch?

        • Avatar davedave12 says:

          Weight gain in early and middle adulthood will increase health risks later in life, according to a study released Tuesday by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. People who gained a moderate amount of weight (5 to 22 pounds) before the age of 55 increased their risk of premature death, chronic diseases and decreased the likelihood of achieving healthy aging, the study found. And the higher the weight gain, the greater risk of chronic diseases.

          “Our study is the first of its kind to systematically examine the association of weight gain from early to middle adulthood with major health risks later in life,” senior author Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition, said in a statement. The study analyzed data from nearly 93,000 participants.

          Women gained an average of 22 pounds over this time, while men gained 19 pounds. “The findings indicate that even a modest amount of weight gain may have important health consequences.” Worse, early and middle adulthood is the time of life most people actually gain weight, as their metabolism slows, recurring knee and back injuries become more common, studies show; many people are also less active in their 30s and 40s when they work longer hours and have more responsibilities than, say, their carefree early 20s.

        • Avatar Pdiddy Dduh says:

          Stop enabling. This is what you are doing.

      • Avatar TheElfHerself says:

        For some people they might need to start out their weightloss journey by measuring and inputting everything they eat. It helps you to realize exactly what you are eating and what the culprits are.

      • Avatar Pdiddy Dduh says:

        I agree. People are too obsessed with measuring everything. Its not that hard to eyeball and not pile up your plate like crazy. If you cook you get a better sense of what the food value is. Problem is that most people are lazy and want the easy way out. I like you think measuring food and all the stupid fad diets dont help. You need common sense not a damn food experiment. BTW im 158lbs, 11-12%BF and I eat everything and drink wine and beer every day. In moderation. I also exercise 4-5 times strenuously every week.

        • Avatar Shelby Canuette says:

          People need to use what works for them. Someone told me I would get where I didn’t need to write down what I ate. Bad advice. Was not able to start it back once I quit.

        • Avatar Ellen Fleischer says:

          Some of us have spatial perception issues. I really cannot tell when I’ve got a half cup or 3/4 cup of something. Eyeballing portions doesn’t work for me. Weighing and measuring does.

          I went to a brunch yesterday and had mostly healthy choices (understanding that in a restaurant, there was likely to be more oil involved than in dishes I made at home.) I had what I assumed was about 3/4 cup of scrambled eggs, but logged it as 1 cup because of my aforementioned problem. Also had a poached egg florentine. I/2 slice of thickly-cut French toast (that I figured would be equal to a whole one), 1/4 of a round waffle, and some sauteed veggies. When I got home and logged it, I discovered that my healthy meal might have been over 900 calories. Agreed that it could have been a bit less. I don’t know if I overestimated the eggs. I don’t know the recipes the restaurant used. Etc etc. But I didn’t put syrup or butter on anything, didn’t make blatantly unhealthy choices or pick obvious calorie-dense foods…

          Yes, I exercised later and made lighter choices during the rest of the day. But even though I’ve been successfully losing weight for just under 14 months now, I did not realize how much I was consuming at one meal.

  5. Avatar Carrie Glenn says:

    Good info and I agree with Jayjay. Authors that take pride in their work and hire a proofreader appear more credible. I do proofreading for several bloggers and the service is worth it.

  6. Avatar Teetop says:

    Would love suggestions for vegetable heavy restaurant meals! Maybe another blog?

    • Avatar GlassShard says:

      Salads.

    • Avatar davedave12 says:

      Asian restaurants

    • Avatar Kay says:

      Stir fry or fajitas. You can eat without the rice / tortilla. Or eat only half of the rice. Also Applebees has many “bowl meals” served over rice, which are meat and veggies, just limit your rice intake. My friend commonly asks for no rice and a double helping of veggies, most restaurants are hoppy to accommendate.

  7. Avatar jm2 says:

    interesting! My mother was always surprised that I always went for the vegetables first – still do. In top restaurants you’ll notice that the entree is always put in front of you at the 5-o’clock position on the plate. Maybe the vegetables need to be there instead!

  8. Avatar Chris says:

    I would say this is not a smart article at all. There’s no mention of daily caloric intake or macronutrient distribution. Although I do think most people need to amp up their veggie consumption, this article is crap…sorry.

    • Avatar Eliot says:

      It’s not crap at all. The point is, if you put veggies first you will likely add more and, therefore, less of the other, more calorie packed foods. Maybe the article doesn’t mention calories, but it is obvious the suggestion is a good way to lessen your calorie intake. It is, therefore, not crap. Perhaps you should be less judgemental and more informative.

      • I agree with you. Look at celery! It’s the one food you can eat and lose calories eating! Veggies have almost everything we need to survive, and very few calories. I find that eating an organic steamer bag of broccoli flavored with a bit of coconut oil and paired with a serving of meat is more filling than a side of rice or noodles.

    • Avatar davedave12 says:

      crap = spending every day of your life measuring food by the gram and counting calories

    • Avatar Andrew says:

      yeah this advice is only good if you’re running open loop (like on vacation or whatever) and can’t track portions and exact nutrition.

    • Avatar Diane923 says:

      Then you’ll be surprised that even the American Diabetes Association puts this forth as a simple way to monitor what you eat and keep you from going into hyper or hypoglycemic episodes!

    • Avatar Megan Taggart says:

      I think that the article is simply stating how to plate items proportionally, under the assumption that you are already eating the proper foods etc. It is simple and makes sense.

  9. Avatar Catherine Brown says:

    This is good information but off-putting that the photo shows white rice and the article describes brown rice (which should always be the choice over white when planning healthy meals).

  10. I found the 21 Day Fix program. Autumn Calibrese tells people exactly what the right proportions of food are. She’s onto something because I lost 20 pounds in 2 months by eating more food. 4 cups of veggies per day, 2 cups of fruit, 4 servings of meat, and more. Her program also provides measuring cups so you have visual guides. Also, she suggests no carbs past early afternoon.

    • Avatar davedave12 says:

      SPAM is not good food

      • I’m not trying to spam. I have no stake in the company, and I’m not a coach. That said, the program works and this discussion is completely relevant to the article above.

        Simply to avoid further conflict I edited my post to eliminate the program name.

        • Avatar Angela McCabe says:

          I also used Autumn’s plan too and when I stuck to it I was satisfied and had good energy. Lost 12 lbs the first round. Good way to build the habits outlined in this article. And the recipes for the seasoning blends in the book are really good and low sodium.

        • Avatar Mel says:

          Can you tell me what the food layout is….I am interested in trying it…thx

          • There is a LOT to it. What I used is called 21 Day Fix. They are part of a larger company that does P90X & Insanity. I think all of their programs come with meal plans. With 21DF she encourages you to quit sugar for 21 days. I took it to a modified Paleo level. My doctor said I should quit gluten, & feeling that processed foods are full of chemicals I quit many. I still used cheese, & occasionally pasta. They say you can have one slice of pizza, which would qualify as 2 carb and a blue container (cheese and almonds). Carbs should only be about a cup a day. Really, this article is correct when it says that you should eat more veggies. For my weight, I should have 4 cups of veggies, 4 red cups (3/4c servings) of meat, 2 carbs (1/2c each). I always forget the details on blue & orange but orange is seeds and dressings. The program gives you healthy salad dressings, too. You can probably find the book online or via Amazon. There’s way more to it than I can fit in a post.

            Also, if you feel like some reading check out Wheat Belly. It sounded stupid to me at first, but that book is absolutely right. Before my dad passed he used to tell everyone about that book. He knew people who lost 100 lbs just by following it.

  11. Avatar Shaun Sweeney says:

    Half our plate should be veggies. The more we eat the better we are.

  12. Avatar Atslave1 says:

    no mention on the percentage of healthy fats?

  13. Avatar Randy Clark says:

    …I read a book called “Fit for Life” about thirty years ago. Their suggestion was to try and keep your food to fruit and veg before noon eating as much as you feel (obviously not with dips and cheese and creams), from noon on you can add meats just don’t mix starches like bread, rice, potato with meat (steak and potato, sandwiches…) drink plenty of water and don’t eat after 9 pm. Obviously you’d have to arrange the time schedule if you work a shift that isn’t day shift. They recommended a simple yoga for exercise and walking. At the time I read it I was 270 lbs at 6’6″ tall. I got down to 220 lbs and have stayed there ever since (Yes, I’m still 6’6″ tall). I enjoy all sorts of foods and don’t feel constrained at all. It might not work for everyone, as some might have actual medical issues or biological anomalies that keep them from achieving a balanced weight for their frame. But it might be worth a look for some.

  14. Avatar Kristen Jay says:

    Ridiculous. Its not about how the food is arranged on your plate.Theres no such thing as “first” on a plate. Its about controling how much you are putting in your mouth-whatever that may happen to be.
    For me , I have found that stopping my long time habit of stuffing myself on junk food has helped me maintain my weight after reaching a goal of 60 lbs lost earlier this year. I don’t eat large portions of anything

    • Avatar epickett says:

      This DOES seem to be a method of controlling how much you are putting in your mouth. Most people tend to fill their plate when they serve themselves. So if you start out with protein, you are more likely to use the majority of the real estate with that, and not much left for vegetables. If you *start* with the vegetables, those would take up the bulk of the real estate, with less space for the higher-calorie choices… So I see it as a valid way to lower your total calorie count for the meal, while still getting all the nutrients you need.

  15. Avatar Mel says:

    Great idea. I never thought of this. I always start loading my plate with meat or my carbs first and then with what room I have left I fill with veggies…..Easy switch…

  16. Avatar Aileen says:

    This is all wrong. This is just promoting Caroline restriction, eating disorders, bad health, etc. first of all carbs do not make you fat nor sugar. Your brain runs on glucose. Eating a plant base diet ‘vegan diet’ is the healthiest diet. Do your research there’s plenty of doctors that state it. Think about it what make you fat?…. It’s call fat for a reason. So meat is filled with saturated fat and oily when cooking it. Why not cut the meat and fuel up with carbs and every food source from plants (fruits, veggies, legumes, grains) all have protein so you don’t need to worry about being protein deficient. Check out freelee the banana girl on YouTube and don’t forget to carb up!!

    • Avatar Joel Carter says:

      Everything you eat – fats, protein and carbohydrates – can be converted to fat in the body if you don’t follow the one simple rule of nutrition: Eat less, move more. Fat has gotten a bad rap over the years, and it can be problematic if consumed in excess. The fact is that your body needs fat for normal operation. It uses fat as energy when your carbohydrate supply has been depleted and helps your body absorb needed nutrients.

    • Avatar La Bandita says:

      Some cultures and people thrive on high fat diet. Use it for yourself, but it’s not a universal rule.

  17. Avatar Nancy says:

    Just found I have low blood pressure,not talking in enough salt and drinking water, having dizzy and fainting when I stand up. Now I got to change my way of eating.

  18. Avatar TheElfHerself says:

    When you’re at home use a smaller plate. I have heavy ceramic plates I inherited and they come in either a large dinner plate, or a smaller dessert plate that I still think is too large. I use the smaller plate except for things that need to be spread out or might get messy.

  19. Avatar Shawn K says:

    Wow To those making comments calling people “pig” and “fat” are so not what this site was made for. As I was taught from a young age by My Parents & Grandparents “If you don’t have anything nice to say DON’T say anything at all. If you’ve never had a weight problem then please be careful on the words you use to attack people comments. I agree that everyone has the right to make their “comments”, but “come on” do you really have to be rude???? I have a friend who was called “Fat” in high school and HE*(YES HE) he quite eating and ending up getting so thin and so sick that he was out of school for a couple months at a time. He starved himself due to some ones rude comment and it ruined his life. Are those “HARSH WORDS” really worth ruining some ones life for your quick moment of “pleasure”… I don’t think so. So, please think about what your saying before you actual post it. Thank you

  20. Avatar Alexander Deltrus Leimbeck says:

    Kind of silly to assume that people will always eat the rice and protein first. Articles like this always make for a good eye-roll…

  21. Avatar Carole says:

    Vegetables are carbs.

  22. Avatar Jennifer says:

    Eat mostly healthy fats, then proteins, then a little carbs in the form of veggies and fruits. Don’t be fooled by the government’s suggestions saying that you need to eat more grains. That is where they make their money. Check out the keto diet.

  23. Avatar Mister E says:

    Thank you Maxine Yeung!

  24. Avatar Liz Pacini says:

    The problem is that many veggies are also high in carbs. If you’re placing starchy veggies on top of carbs, it is not going to help you lose weight. Know which veggies are higher in carbs.

  25. Avatar otbs1 says:

    I don’t know about this one. I’m a firm believer in “whatever works for you”. If most of you saw what I eat, you’d probably question how I’m losing weight, but in the four months since I began this journey, I’ve lost 25 lbs., and two inches around my waist. I focus on two things. I keep my calories under 1800 per day, and I walk at least 10,000 steps. And “yes”, I have a Fitbit, and “no”, this is not a commercial for it. This works for me. Next week I’ll be increasing my workouts to include strength training, and swimming. I don’t worry about veggies, or protein anything, or how I make my plate. I’m about to eat breakfast which includes a “Honey Nut Cheerios Milk n Cereal Bar”, a Granny Smith apple, and 16 ounces of water. I’m not suggesting this for anyone else, but it’s working for me. BUT, I love these articles, and read them like their my Bible, and actually follow many of the suggestions/recommendations.

  26. Avatar Elena Zimmerman says:

    I do what the article says if I eat out in a buffet – and actually skip all the sides entirely because I am not going to reload my plate, I want yummy meat and veggies and I want a tiny bit of desert for my carbs instead of like… rice, lol. At home most of my meals are cooked as stews and soups, so veggies and meat are mixed together to start with. Which I then spoon over my carbs, because I tried low carb diets as well, but I find they make me sick and hungry in the long run and give me that 2 am insomnia that carbs suppress.
    Ideal macro distribution for the best satiety is an individual thing from what I have seen, and also differs from day to day (so if I feel like eating just ground beef all day and just boiled potatoes another… I just do so).
    I agree that knowing how to eat healthy is simple, but the actual portion control is hard, because it goes against the evolutionary drive to always slightly overeat.
    Small plates, defined eating windows and alternative ways to soothe yourself (stretch, drawing, video=game, steam-room, knitting, whatever works) all help, but it’s not fool-proof, and sometimes it only takes a few days to undo the calorie deficit and you just undulate up and down, up and down around the set-point weight.
    Overall, the only person who can find the solutions to one’s own problems is oneself.

  27. Avatar TC says:

    I am astounded to read through the comments to hear people trashing something that works for someone else. If you don’t want to measure your food, don’t. If it works for you, keep doing it. We are all unique in this world, and the same diet doesn’t work for everyone. Research metabolic typing and you’ll learn about it. What we are all striving for, is to be healthy and feel good about ourselves. How each person gets there might be different but the goal is the same. For those of you who get a feeling of importance from cutting down everyone else, maybe you should go conquer the world while you still know everything. The rest of us will look for things we have in common rather than differences, and we will help each other succeed, rather than putting each other down.

  28. Avatar Gerard O'Dwyer says:

    i love Myfitness Pal i would like to recommend that to all off my freinds

  29. Avatar Filip Zawadzki says:

    Indeed… I’ve testing another way of losing weight… I stopped eat in the morning and I’m eating only on evening and my weight started to decrease and never dropped faster… I drink a lot of water during day.

  30. Avatar Steve says:

    While the article sounds great and can make some sense, it is not necessarily the end all. I use My Fitness Pal and the recommended ratios of food for my age; then track all my food. While weight is not necessarily my big challenge (skinny is not in my vocabulary, rather healthy weight), the nutrition components are for me very important — especially sugars and sodium. Eating lots of fruit can really drive up sugar intake and just about everything is packed with sodium, even when you scratch cook the majority of your food as we do. We have many servings of veggies and fruits every day.

    That said, one really needs to enjoy their food and a cocktail, wine or whatever as well. We tend to follow the moderation, exercise and reduced stress theory as they contribute to the quality of life I think most of us desire. Especially those of us retired. FWIW.

  31. I’ve been trying to maintain a healthy weight for ages and I’m proud to say that I’m doing it the right way and the right way is…you said it right! I call it “inverted plating”! Actually, when we eat out especially if it’s buffet, I first look at the veggies, take a half plate of them and eat them at my table. I would wait a couple of minutes before standing up again and go to the buffet table. That’s when I start to prey on carbs and proteins and fats.

    And, of course, to keep them off, I make sure I sweat them out the following morning.

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