Fitness experts agree that for any diet to work, strict discipline is required especially when it comes to meal planning. Some diets would provide one or two days per week as cheat days and it is during these days that dieters often lose control and go crazy on what they eat.
One of the best ways to lose weight is to stick to the meal plan and be disciplined enough to still follow the appropriate portion sizes during the off days. The Military Diet is no stranger to that, given that it actually has more off days than the actual days on diet.
Portion sizing defined
But what is portion sizing? Portion size is the amount of food generally considered to be one serving. Dietitians have long come up with guidelines on how much nutrients a body should consume and how it translates to actual the food that we consume.
Military diet and portion sizing
Fortunately, this diet does not care for sizes. What matters most is the number of calories that a food has. The main goal of the Military Diet is to limit the daily calorie intake to about 1300 calories on regular days and 1500 calories on off days. See our article on Day 1 of the Military diet to help you plan your meals.
The meal plan that was developed had this particular goal in mind and it combines food that meets a certain number of calories and fat burning qualities.
The standard meal plan for this diet would have the following serving sizes:
- Broccoli: 1 cup
- Carrots: 1/2 cup
- Green Beans: 1 cup
- Cheese: 1 slice
- Tuna: 1 cup
- Meat: 3 ounces
- Cottage cheese: 1 cup
- Ice Cream: 1 cup
This should be followed strictly on the first three days while the off days can have some variation.
Keep in mind that you should still keep within the limits of 1500 calories and this is where visualization kicks in.
Visualizing the portions can help when substituting one food for another and it guarantees that you don’t have to bring along measuring aids to determine if the food you want to eat can be used. This visual trick not only helps you decide better but it also makes you more aware of the food choices that you make.
So how does it work? Simple, use your imagination and follow the portions described below:
- For carbohydrates, it should be about half a cup, so imagine a cup of coffee but drink half of it.
- Fruits and vegetables deserve a little leniency so imagine a serving is about the size of a regular apple for fruits, and about half an apple for vegetables.
- A matchbox can used to compare the serving size of protein (fish, meat or poultry). These can appear to be small but you can always have more than one serving of each during off days. Just be mindful of the calorie count.
It takes practice and a lot of self control to master portion sizing but you have to keep your goal in mind and know that in the end, the benefits of losing weight will be great.
For some tips on how to lose weight, see our article on what exercises to do during the military diet to learn more.