weight gain

The Gigantic Mealtime Misstep That’s Causing Your Weight Gain

Shelly Kramer Nutrition Leave a Comment

If you’re constantly struggling with weight gain, you might feel like you’ve tried everything to keep off the pounds. Maybe you’ve tried out nearly every diet you’ve heard of, to no avail. But there’s one tip you probably haven’t tried, and it’s simple: changing the way you put food on your plate. Here’s what you need to know before you plate your dinner tonight.

Consider these tips if you want to avoid weight gain: 13 Ways to Start Losing Weight and Getting Fit Tomorrow

Should You Change the Way You’re Plating Your Food?

If you feel like you’re eating all the right stuff but not losing or maintaining your weight, the problem might be more with your portions than the diet itself. In fact, the way you put your food on your plate can lead to you eating more, resulting in weight gain. If you put carbs—like brown rice—on your plate first, followed by meat…followed by vegetables as the last item, it’s time to revamp your strategy.

More specifically, you should flip the order you use to plate your food if you want to curb weight gain. You should put the vegetables on the plate first, making them the main focus of your meal. Then add the protein and carbs. After all, when you plate the vegetables last, you’ve basically run out of room on your plate by that time. That means you’re probably focusing too much on the carbs and protein, so you may be eating too much of those and not enough veggies—leading to weight gain!

This should be a relief to you if you generally eat healthy and have still been gaining weight. After all, it’s much easier to change the order you use to plate your food than completely change what you’re eating, right? So before you make any extreme changes to your diet, or completely cut out a food group you love, try just arranging your food a little differently on your plate.

If you have some questions about carbs, take a look at this: Carb Confusion Is Real. Are Carbs Evil? Let’s Do Some Myth-Busting

Why Vegetables Should Become Your Main Focus

When you rearrange the way you plate your food, you’re training yourself to view vegetables in a different way than before. Basically, you’re making them the star of the show, and that may be the key to keeping off weight gain.

Think about it. When you put carbs on your plate first, you’re signaling to yourself that this is the most important food you have, so by default, it tends to get the most space on your otherwise empty plate. When you put vegetables on the plate last, you’re treating them as an afterthought, or a food you should eat only if you have enough room on your dish. That’s going to lead to weight gain.

Why? Well, vegetables happen to have all the vitamins, minerals, and even water your body needs in order to stay healthy. So it makes sense to fill up on these first, and then follow them with protein and carbs if you need more food. If you want to avoid weight gain, you’ll want to basically flip the ratios that most people are used to. Right now, your plate is probably 50 percent full of carbohydrates, with 25 percent protein and 25 percent vegetables. Instead, it should be 50 percent full of vegetables, and 25 percent lean protein and 25 percent carbohydrates.

So if you want to avoid weight gain at mealtime, try filling about half your dish with non-starchy vegetables. Then pile the protein on about one quarter of the plate. If there’s any room left, squeeze in some carbs…but with so many vegetables, you might start to find you don’t need them anymore! Also, drinking wine with dinner is OK, just make sure you limit it to just one.

Want more tips on avoiding weight gain and improving your health? Read this: Warm Lemon Water Benefits for a Healthy Body

More sources on avoiding weight gain:

5 Ways to Tame Your Food Cravings to Avoid the Inevitable Weight Gain
Improving Your Eating Habits
15 Foods to Avoid While Trying to Lose Weight

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