Shiny new thread for those wanting to lose weight through portion size and balanced healthy eating...

(23 Posts)
DrRanj Sat 19-Jan-13 20:18:33

This is continuing on from this thread, but with the "rules" all put together from the resources linked to (this one, this one and this one.

This plan will provide 1500 kcals for 0.5-2lb per week weight loss when combined with exercise. Where servings have varied between the resources I have included the range, you can adjust the portion sizes according to your response.

Come join us!

Daily servings for 1500 calories
Starchy: 6-7
Fruit: 3
Vegetables: 3-4
Milk: 2-3
Meat/alternatives: 2
Fat: 3
Extras/snacks: 100-150 calories

Starchy - bread, other cereals and potatoes

A serving is:
• 1 slice of bread or toast
• ½ bread roll/bagel (plain or cinnamon & raisin)
• 2 crispbreads
• 3 small crackers
• ½ pitta or 1 mini pitta
• 1 small chapatti
• 3 tablespoons (tbsp.) breakfast cereal
• 2 tblsp museli
• 3 tbsp. dry porridge oats
• 1 shredded wheat or weetabix
• 2 egg-sized potatoes or 1 medium potato, half jacket potato, or 6 oven chips, 100g uncooked
• 2 egg sized pieces of yam, boiled, or 1.5 inch thick slice/100g
• 2 heaped tbsp./third of a cup cooked rice or barley (25g uncooked)
• 3 heaped tbsp./half a cup of boiled pasta (25g uncooked)
• 3 heaped tblsp boiled noodles, 25g uncooked
• 1 small plain naan bread
• 1 small chapatti
• 1 medium plantain
• 2 small oat cakes
• 1 plain/digestive biscuit
• 1 crumpet/pikelet
• ½ English muffin
• ½ fruit or plain scone
• 1 scotch pancake
• 1 small slice malt loaf
• 3 cups plain popcorn
• 1 small corn on the cob
• 1 small tortilla
• Half a medium pita or tortilla wrap
• 3-4 rye crisp breads or rice cakes
• 3 heaped tablespoons beans, lentils or sweetcorn

• Aim for at least 2 servings at each meal
• Choose wholemeal/high fibre varieties whenever possible

Fruit and Vegetables

A serving is basically 80g or:
A serving of fruit is:
• Half a large grapefruit
• 2-3 small pieces of fruit e.g. plums, apricots, satsumas
• 1 handful of grapes
• 1 medium banana
• 7 strawberries
• 3 heaped tbsp. fruit (stewed or tinned in juice)
• 1 small glass unsweetened fruit juice (150ml)- maximum 1 portion a day
• 1 heaped tbsp. dried fruit e.g. raisins, or 3 dried apricots (maximum 1 portion per day)
• 1 medium piece of fruit such as apple, orange, pear, peach
• 1 cupful/handful of berries/grapes/lychees
• 2 small fruit such as Satsumas, plums
• 1 large slice of a large fruit such as melon or pineapple
A serving of vegetables is:
• 3 heaped tbsp. any cooked vegetables e.g. carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, tomatoes, leeks, swede, courgettes, broccoli, french beans, peppers, peas or sweetcorn - fresh, frozen or canned
• 1 mixed side salad (the size of a cereal bowl)
• 1-2 tomatoes, 7 cherry tomatoes (about a handful)
• Three heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas. However much you eat, beans and pulses count as a maximum of one portion of vegetables a day
• 1 portion of low fat tomato sauce for pasta or on toast

• Frozen or canned vegetables and fruit are good options too
• Vegetables are low calorie foods - aim to fill at least ½ your plate with them at main meals
• Fruit makes a good snack at any time
• For more about serving sizes of fruit and vegetables for good health, go to the 5 A Day section on the Department of Health's website at:

Meat, Fish and Alternatives

A serving is:
• 60-100g (2-4oz)/3 slices cooked lean beef, pork, lamb, mince, chicken, turkey or oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardines) (size of pack of cards)
• 75-140g (2 ½ - 4 ½ oz) raw meat, poultry or oily fish
• 3 fish fingers
• 2 thin slices of lean cold meat
• 150g (5oz) of cooked white fish (size of a cheque book), seafood or canned tuna (in brine or spring water)
• 2 eggs
• 5 tbsp./1/2 large tin/1 small tin baked beans (choose low sugar/salt if possible)
• 4-5 tbsp. cooked peas, beans/pulses/lentils or dahl
• 120 -150g (4-5 oz) of soya, tofu or quorn
• 150g (6oz) of Bolognese sauce or chilli
• 35g (1.4)oz/2 level tblsp of nuts, seeds or nut butter
• 75g (3)oz reduced fat houmous

Note: Uncooked weights for meat, poultry and fish will be 25-30 per cent bigger.
• Try to have 1 serving of oily fish each week for good health
• Lower the fat content of main meals by replacing some meat with beans and pulses e.g. in casseroles, soups, pasta dishes and curries
• Note that the serving sizes for peas/beans etc. are different to the fruit and vegetables section, as they are included for their protein content here.

Milk and dairy foods

serving is:
• 300ml (1/2 pint) skimmed or 200ml (1/3 pint) semi skimmed milk or fortified Soya milk
• 1 small pot/150g of low fat /diet yogurt / fromage frais/soya dessert
• 1 small matchbox size (30g / 1oz) cheddar or other hard cheese (brie, camembert, edam, smoked Austrian) (size of a small matchbox)
• 45g (1 ½ oz) of half-fat cheese
• 90g (3oz)/2 heaped tblsp/1 small pot of cottage cheese
• 200g/1 large pot low fat cottage cheese
• 60-80g (3oz) of low fat soft cheese
• 50-80g (3oz) half fat soft cheese

• Use smaller amounts of stronger-flavoured cheese in cooking
• Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain just as much calcium as full-fat milk
• Check labels for fat and calorie content. Remember that less than 3g fat per 100g is low fat.

Fat and oils

A serving is:
• 1 tsp. nut butters
• 1 tsp. double cream
• 1 tsp. tahini
• 2 tsp. reduced fat spread / reduced calorie dressing
• 1 tsp mayonnaise
• 1 tsp blue cheese dressing
• 2 tsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise or low-fat dressing
• 1 tblsp salad cream/ 2 tblsp reduced fat salad cream
• 2 tsp double cream/5 tsp single cream
• 2-3 tsp. soured cream or half-fat crème fraiche
• 1 teaspoon of oil, spread, margarine, butter or mayonnaise (size of small postage stamp)
• 2 tablespoons of fat-free dressings
• 1 tblsp gravy or white sauce made with fat and flour base (roux)
• 4 tblsp gravy or white sauce (made with cornflour, no fat added)
• Choose a reduced fat/low fat spread
• Always measure out your oil (1 teaspoon per person per recipe) and choose a polyunsaturated or monounsaturated variety ( e.g. olive, rapeseed, corn, soya )
• Replace cream/crème fraiche in cooking with low-fat yogurt or fromage frais


Choose mainly fruit, vegetables or starchy-based snacks for good health.

Snacks around 50 calories
• 1 plain biscuit
• 1 medium piece of fruit
• 2 crackers/crispbreads
• Small pot of 'diet' yogurt or fromage frais
• 1 serving of 'slim' soup
• 1 serving of low calorie hot chocolate drink
• Raw vegetable crudités with 30g (1oz) low fat cream cheese or 2 tablespoons salsa
• 1 meringue nest
• 1 packet sugar free polo mints
• 1 pub measure spirits
Snacks around 100 calories
• 2 pieces of fruit
• 2 rice cakes with reduced fat spread and honey
• 1 cereal bar
• 1 fun-sized chocolate bar
• 2 plain biscuits
• 1 plain or chocolate digestive style biscuit
• 30g (1oz) boiled sweets or wine gums
• 1 small packet of lower fat crisps
• 1 small tube/bag of sweets
• 1 crumpet with reduced sugar jam/honey
• ½ bread muffin with reduced fat spread
• 1 slice of toast with reduced fat spread and yeast extract (or other extra starch serving)
• 1 large pub measure of spirit with diet mixer
• 150 ml glass of wine
• ½ pint ordinary strength lager/beer
• Small pot of yoghurt or one other dairy serving
• 2 crisp bread with 50g/20z tuna or thinly spread peanut butter or half fat soft cheese
• 1 crisp bread with 1 level tablespoon hummus
• 25g/1oz nuts and raisins
• 1 mini fruit bun, small cereal bar, mini chocolate bar or chocolate biscuit
• Small bag of savoury snacks (around 100 calories)
• 25ml liqueur
• 1 small scoop of ice cream

• Snacks around 150 calories
• 2 small slices toast with low-fat spread
• 1 fruit bun or scone
• 1 English bread muffin with scraping of jam
• 1 bread roll
• 1 small slice of cake (50g)
• 1 potato scone
• 150g pot of low-fat yogurt, custard or rice pudding
• 1 small packet of crisps (25g)
• 1 small chocolate bar (30g/1oz)
• 1 chocolate biscuit
Snacks around 200 calories
• 2 slices bread or toast (with spread from allowance)
• or any 2 other starchy food or dairy food servings
• 2 crackers with 30g (1oz) cheese
• 3 tbsp. breakfast cereal with 1/3 pint semi skimmed milk
• 1 plain or fruit scone
• 2 fun-sized chocolate bars
• Mini pork pie
• 1 small slice fruit cake or sponge cake
• 1 pint ordinary strength beer/lager
If you choose ready prepared items:
Ready made sandwiches or snack meals - choose one with around 300 calories
Ready meals - to have in place of a main meal. Choose meals with around 400 calories and serve with plenty of extra vegetables or salad.
Have at least 6 to 8 drinks over the day. Choose from: water, mineral water, sugar free squashes and soft drinks, herbal tea, tea or coffee with milk from exchange lists.

Enhance the natural flavours of your cooking with herbs, spices, garlic, chilli, lemon or lime juice, flavoured vinegars, tomato puree, a well flavoured stock, a splash of wine, soya sauce, hot pepper sauce, teriyaki sauce, capers, a few olives and mustards.
While the eating plan is well balanced, a one a day multivitamin and mineral supplement (which provides amounts close to the Recommended Daily Allowance) can be a good 'insurance policy' for eating plans with less than 1900 calories.

DrRanj Sat 19-Jan-13 20:30:06

Right then!

I might as well start off by adding my stats:

Start date: 7/1/13, start weight: 11 st 12.5lb blush Target weight 8st 3lb.

Weigh-in 1: 14/1/13 11st 8.5lb 4lb lost! grin

Target for next week 11st 6.5lb

DrRanj Sat 19-Jan-13 21:32:44

Had a pretty good day today...

Bf: sesame bagel with 2 dry fried eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes

Lunch: jacket with cheese, salad and salad cream

Dinner: homemade chana saag with small naan and rice

Pud: choc desert thingy - 150kcal.

McPie Sun 20-Jan-13 10:52:54

I started this plan with my nurse on the 24th july under the name Counterweight but it is exactly the same. I weighed in at 15st 7lb and my waist size was 97cm. I was back for a weigh in on the 9th jan, after 3 months on my own, and weighed 13st 1lb and waist size was 84cm.

I could have lost more but since sept I have been doing classes at my local leisure centre and have built up quite a good amount of muscle, have a hint of upper abs now grin, I am doing between 8 and 13 1/2 hours each week though shock.

The plan does work very well and I found that kitchen scales are your friend as I weigh out everything. Its not expensive to follow as food goes alot further, I can get 5 meals out of 500g lean mince as I split and freeze when I buy it. I cant eat wheat or dairy and I still find it easy to follow.

DrRanj Sun 20-Jan-13 11:10:28

Hi again mcpie! Wow you do loads of exercise! Great to hear you have had such good results.

I've just had 2 toast with 2 scrambled eggs, a tomato and 80g mushrooms.

Plan to have bagel with reduced fat Camembert (dying to see what that's like, was reduced at Lidl!) tomato and chutney.

Going to snack on fruit and then have a roast type dinner, was thinking Quorn lamb grill (am veggie), potatoes roasted in my oil allowance, veggies and gravy.

Thinking of doing an apple crumble, with stewed apple as a fruit portion and some crumble topping and low fat custard from my calorie allowance.

I do think this diet is cheap and easy to stick to as you can eat most things. I find it pretty easy as a veggie as well. I have eaten out a couple of times and always manage to find something. Like the other night I knew I had some carb and veg portions, a fat and a protein, so I had a chick pea and veg tagine with couscous.

Just off out for a jog now! smile

DrRanj Sun 20-Jan-13 22:15:14

I was a bit naught today and instead of having a healthy homemade crumble as planned, I ended up having a gu choc soufflé that were reduced in sainsburys! blush

Weigh in day tomorrow too. I don't care if I'm here all on my lonesome, posting is keeping me on track! grin

DrRanj Mon 21-Jan-13 06:42:32

Weigh in today!

Start date: 7/1/13, start weight: 11 st 12.5lb Target weight 8st 3lb.

14/1/13 11st 8.5lb, 4lb lost!
21/1/13 11st 7.5lb, -1lb, smile5lb lost in total

Target for next week 11st 5.5lb

This week the only changes I'm going to make is to try and stick to things as they are as I've been going over a wee bit most days. I'm also going to keep going with the jogging.

McPie Mon 21-Jan-13 08:05:42

Morning I had a bad food day yesterday too after my saturday night wine as I my period started so grumpy me ahoy sad.
Weighed 13st 2lb this morning, really need not to weigh myself every day as its soul destroying.
Have started the day with 2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of toast with branston pickle (drool) and will have a banana before I head down to body pump and bums tums and thighs after my trek in the snow to get the kids to school.

DrRanj Mon 21-Jan-13 11:43:32

I used to weigh myself every day mcpie, I convinced myself it would be better that way as I would be keeping a closer eye on things. But now I have realised it's not worth it.

I had a weigh in today and lost 1lb in a week. Not amazing, but not that bad either, so I'm happy with that. However I did hop on the scales mid week and I was 1.5lbs lighter than that. So I can't get rid of the nagging feeling I have "gained" 1.5lb! Which is ridiculous of course, I have list 1lb in a week and I should be happy with that.

So from now on, no more weighing midweek! Why not join me in weighing every Monday morning, starting from now?smile

McPie Mon 21-Jan-13 14:04:10

I think I will join you, I'm doing quite a bit of muscle work so I think I will measure as well so I can still see my hard work even if the scales make me look like a lazy mare! I hate my scales and really shouldn't have them in the house at all, may have to take them to my mums and get her to hide them for me.
Rice, prawns, salad and salad cream then mixed berries and fat free greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey for lunch. Looks good until I add the wheat free butterfly cake (or two) left from the weekend sad.
My excuse is I'm hormonally challenged at the moment so needed the sugar hit, on the plus side I will get the chance to work it off at bums tums and thighs (another one) and boxfit tonight.

DrRanj Mon 21-Jan-13 17:31:21

Well I did have a good day too, sesame bagel with pb for bf, pitta with Camembert and tomato, bag of crisps (150 kcal) and 2 satsumas and a banana.

But, have just had dinner and have gone slightly off plan by having a veg lasagne in the hospital canteen - with the gp ooh from 6 so didn't have time to go home.

Which I hadn't bothered either, the pasta was soggy and it was full of frozen diced veg - yuk! And it was also very cheesy, which was its only redeeming quality taste wise, but not good news for the diet!

Schedule means there is also no time for a run today, I don't finish til 11pm so won't be home before midnight. sad

Mybumissquidgy Mon 21-Jan-13 22:16:24

I'm confused sad if I have a portion of beans as a vegetable does it cancel out one my meat servings for the day? I mean if I have 2 servings of chicken as my meat and then have beans too have I gone over on meat and others?

Can you tell I'm not good with diets etc? :P

DrRanj Mon 21-Jan-13 23:38:24

If you have beans as a vegetable, that counts as a veg so does not affect your meat, you can still have 2 meat. smile

But you can only have one serving of beans as a veg a day. The rest have to be other types of veg e.g. Salad, carrots etc! smile

So you can't have 2.5 tins of beans and count that as your 5 a day! grin

Mybumissquidgy Mon 21-Jan-13 23:46:15

Ah I think I understand now thank you! And damn there goes my vegetables plan grin

DrRanj Mon 21-Jan-13 23:55:39

Beans can also be used as a starch/carb too which makes things even more confusing...

Just check the serving sizes though as I think they vary slightly according to what you're counting them

DrRanj Tue 22-Jan-13 00:03:31

And welcome btw! grin

DrRanj Tue 22-Jan-13 18:05:59

Had a good day today, cinnamon bagel with spread for bf, sesame bagel with Camembert and salad for lunch with a small bag if crisps for lunch, a banana, and oven chips, peas, beans, eggs and veggie sausages for tea! Felt like some comfort food today as I had a stinking cold. sad

Was loads of food, stuffed now! grin All I've got left to eat now is 2 pieces of fruit, but don't think I can squeeze them in, I've already had my 5 a day anyway...

Hope everyone's well. smile

DrRanj Sat 26-Jan-13 13:32:36

Been rubbish at keeping this thread going and feel very lonely, but never mind,going to keep plodding on and weighing on once per week!

Had a bad day/night last night, was on a night shift with the paramedics and sweets/cakes were being offered round, it was really hard to say no as you feel you need the energy boost, not to mention we had a really stressful call where we needed to do CPR etc and were physically exhausted, so having had no sleep a sugar boost was hard to resist!

Does anyone else do night shifts? Does it totally mess up your eating patterns?

After sneakily weighing myself mid week it looked like I was headed for around a 1lb loss, but we'll see how that pans out on Monday!

DrRanj Sat 26-Jan-13 13:34:03

Oh yeah was also going to say I am going to try and make at least 3 of my starch serving whole grain, in order to do the whole grain challenge!

DrRanj Thu 31-Jan-13 06:45:42

Ok well I'm going to keep the thread alive by weighing in. Today I weighed in at 11at 6.5lb, so 6lb lost so far! grin

fatlazymummy Thu 31-Jan-13 09:45:47

Thought I'd just post to add some encouragement. This sounds pretty similar to the way I eat. I lost over 4 stones over a year or so. It really does work, so keep it up!
My best tip is to use a smaller plate, and you will automatically regulate your portion sizes. I probably eat about half the amount I used to, and that just seems like the right amount of food for me now.

pixiegumboot Sun 16-Jun-13 20:20:59

hi, I am going to start this one. looks good & sensible thanks so much for putting all the servings in one place. how are you getting on?

Marking place, the foods listed in the OP will help me. Am using MFP and just want to eat healthier and stop snacking so much..... Also need to get myself weighed properly, as I don't think my scales at home are very accurate.m

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