Well, the U.S. government has caught up to the wisdom of what the weight loss surgery industry has known for years: Americans eat too many grains! Back in June of this year, the U.S. government dropped the controversial Food Pyramid icon and replaced it with MyPlate icon. The new MyPlate reminds Americans to make sure that half of their plate is filled with fruit and vegetables. Whereas the USDA Food Pyramid, created in 1992 and revised in 2005, reminded Americans to eat 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta.
I, and most weight loss surgery patients, have been filling half my plate with fruit and vegetables for years. I am glad to see that mainstream America is now catching on as to how our obesity epidemic began. Studies show the typical American diet is filled with anywhere from 600 to 800 empty calories a day, most likely from sodas and cookies, which has contributed to the nation's obesity problem.
Finally, the government is saying "Eat your fruits and vegetables!" The USDA hopes MyPlate will help Americans to eat better, lose weight and prevent disease.
There is one significant difference in the USDA's MyPlate food groups and the Bariatric's Plate food groups. The Bariatric Plate completely eliminates grain. We have long known that there is no place for bread, cereal, rice, and pasta in the bariatric lifestyle if we want to maintain long-term weight loss.
The ideal MyPlate meal consists of the following:
- ¼ of the meal is low fat protein,
- ¼ is grain, with half of that being whole grains
- ¼ is low starch vegetables, and
- ¼ is fruit
The ideal Bariatric Plate meal consists of the following:
- ½ of the meal is low fat protein,
- ¼ is raw or lightly cooked low starch vegetables, and
- ¼ is raw fruit
Personally, I don't always have time to measure out and weigh my food portions, frankly it is a hassle. So the visual of ½ my plate filled with protein and ¼ vegetables and ¼ fruit makes mealtime less complex. And that's the thinking behind the USDA's MyPlate - to make it easier to make the choices necessary to eat well.
Obviously while following the above guidelines, we still must maintain portion control. On the USDA's ChooseMyPlate website, you can use their easy online calculator to get a personalized plan of your daily servings.
I've actually found a great little plate that makes that super easy. The Perfect Portions Plate has the four portions already sectioned out for protein, grain, fruit, and vegetable. As a weight loss surgery patient, I use two of the sections for my protein, one for fruit, and one for veggies. There's no weighing and measuring involved. Another feature of the plate that I like is the snap-on lid that makes it really convenient for bringing my lunch to work.
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You can read about my decision to have weight loss surgery back in 2003 and my journey to maintain a lifetime of obesity disease management since that time. My wish is to help you on your own journey of lifetime obesity disease management with shareposts along the way to help you navigate that journey successfully.
Published On: August 16, 2011