Posted in Healthy Eating

Too Much Of A Good Thing? By Gretchen Scalpi

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®.  


Every week I meet at least a few new clients who are having trouble losing weight, despite the fact that they eat healthy. When it comes to weight management, you can get too much of a good thing.


Know what a correct food portion is will help you to maintain your health and your weight. If you are trying to lose weight, and it’s not budging at all, maybe you are eating enough food to keep your weight right where it is!  It really is about how much you eat of any food.


One quick and easy way to determine portion size is to use what is known as the “plate method”. This has method has received a lot of attention recently and it is one of my favorite ways to show people how to zero in on those portions.


Start by dividing your plate in half.  Fill half of the plate with vegetables or fruit. Divide the remainder of your plate into two quarters. One quarter of the plate is used for a lean protein food (meat, fish, beans, etc.) and the other quarter is used for a whole grain or starchy food.  


Visualizing the plate in this way makes it easy dole out the right portion, especially if you don’t want to measure the food.  I should point out that you must also consider the size of your plate if you are going to use this method for portion control. It is not unusual for dinner plates to come in sizes of 10 inches or larger. If you have large plates, think about scaling down to a 9 inch size before starting. Large plates make proper portion sizes look too small, and it’s all too easy to fill up the plate!


Besides using the plate method, I recommend weighing or measuring food portions from time to time. Big portions are everywhere, and we get used to seeing too much food on the plate no matter where we go. It’s easy to lose sight of healthy portions. Using a food scale or measuring cups every few months to “revisit” portion control will help to keep you on track.


Here are some basic guidelines for correct portion sizes:

•Protein foods: (such as lean meat, fish or poultry): 3-4 ounces

•Vegetables: 1 cup raw or ½ cup cooked (try to eat at least 4-5 portions daily!)

•Fresh fruit: 1 piece is one serving. Berries or Melon: 1 cup.

•Juices or canned fruit: 1/2 cup.

•Starchy foods or whole grains: 1 portion is usually 1/2 cup or 1 oz. if bread

•Non-fat milk or yogurt: 1 cup

•Fats: oil, butter mayonnaise): 1 tsp.


Maintaining reasonable food portions, and “checking in” on the amount you put on your plate from time to time is one of the most effective ways to stay on track with weight loss. If you eat healthy but your weight is stuck, check to see whether you are getting too much of a good thing!



Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, author and Certified Wellcoach®. Gretchen has worked with hundreds of clients in her own private nutrition practice since 2002, providing nutrition and wellness coaching in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, and general wellness. Gretchen provides lectures and workshops on a variety of nutrition topics to corporate and community groups.  She is the author of the "Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance at Health," and "Quick Start Recipes for Healthy Meals".  To learn more about Gretchen, her books, or to subscribe her newsletter visit


This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit