Portion Distortion and Control

Immediately after bariatric procedure, most people will notice a difference in how much food they need to eat to feel full and some even find that food becomes less of a priority in their life.

Further along the road it can be possible to slip into old habits, such as over estimating daily dietary needs, also know as portion distortion. This is when correct portion control becomes vital to maintain a healthy life style and weight loss.

Our Lead Nutritionist, Nicole Berberian has the following advice:

‘In the first few months a 120ml ramekin portion is the starter size. Further down the line, when all foods are eaten more comfortably, I would suggest using a small 6-inch side plate as a guide to training the eye on visual volumes, as the main meal size.

A good balanced plate would typically comprise of a 100g portion of meat/fish/chicken/vegetarian protein, up to to a quarter plate full of carbohydrate and the rest of the plate as either salad or vegetables.

This is only a rough guide and is changeable depending on the food eaten. Firmer foods such as steak and chicken breast tend to be more filling whereas a light fish, or soups, tend to be less filling and the portions may be greater.’

Some people take snapshots of the meals they know to be the correct proportions for them. This gives a visual reminder of how much and which foods they should be aiming to eat at every meal. This in turn lowers the risk of portion distortion. It helps to include cutlery in the image as a frame of reference for plate/bowl size.

Everyone is different and it is important to follow the guidelines given to you by your bariatric team. Try to make your diet as varied as possible and learn to enjoy new flavours so as not to become bored with your meals.

If you would like to make an appointment to discuss this topic further or for general guidance with our dieticians call us on 0800 157 7033 or fill in our online form.