two plates with varying portion sizes

Portion Control and COPD

I was raised in a family of big eaters and it showed - most of us were overweight all our lives. I fought to lose weight off and on but for the most part, I accepted it. We were short on nutritional information, tall on sugars and starchy carbohydrates. The insurgence of the FAST FOOD craze did not help those of us already fighting extra pounds. Everyone knows that the best tasting food is not good for you and I was always using food as a comfort.

Portion control was a problem for me

When you go to a restaurant and order a meal, the food that is not good for you comes plentiful, like fries and sauces. It is an indulgence that is OK once in a while but if you continue to eat like that, as the old saying goes, you get to keep it on your hips! When I was first in the hospital, I realized quickly that my biggest problem was portion control.

Even though I was eating things that were good for me, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. One trick the dietitian told me was to get smaller plates, so it looks like my plate if full and that I am not missing out on anything. Another tip was to cut the plate in quarters. Three of those quarters should be full of veggie greens and nutrient-filled foods. Only one quarter should contain meat and that meat should be light like chicken and fish. Beef is heavy meat that is hard to digest and should be eaten sparingly.

Managing portions with everyday meals

Starting with breakfast was extremely hard for me as I had never been a breakfast person. I gave it a shot and I found that having breakfast kept me full the rest of the day. I would hard boil eggs and peel them and eat them cold every morning with 2 slices of hard cheese and a banana. Breakfast covered my protein for muscle development and potassium that is so important for heart and lung function.

At lunchtime, I would fill up on veggies that were mostly raw. Cherry tomatoes, carrots, and peppers cut up with a bit of low-calorie dressing. In the summertime, a nice salad is in order. In the winter months, I would roast veggies such as beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, peppers, on a cooking sheet with olive oil and garlic. A piece of fruit would round up the meal.

Dinner or supper time, my main meal of the day, is the meal that I have the biggest problem with. For one thing, I rarely exercise after dinner. This means that after my main meal I am sedentary, and my stomach is full, and it appears that this affects my breathing. At dinner time I usually take a probiotic and have found that they give me some relief from the bloating feeling. Probiotics also work as a mild laxative as well so be aware of that.

A helpful tip

The best trick I found was cutting my portions in half. Now, after dinner, I am full but do not have the bloated feeling of a too-full stomach. Changing your mindset from taste and comfort to fuel for muscles helps us make educated decisions on the best choices.

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