Bariatric Portion Sizes Made Easy: 
Tips, Tools, and Techniques

Master bariatric portion sizes with the right tools.

The "proper" bariatric portion sizes ultimately depend on 3 factors and will vary over time. However, it’s important to make portion control a lifelong habit. Having the right tools makes practicing perfect portions a no-brainer!

Small Plates and Bowls

  • Eat off of the smallest plates and bowls you have. Not only will you assure a small portion, your brain will be happier! A small portion on a small plate looks just fine. A small portion on a big plate sends a message of deprivation. Also, it's hard to serve up a small portion on a big plate. Our human nature tells us to fill up the white space!

Small Utensils

Similarly, small utensils make eating small bites very easy. You can't really overfill a small fork or spoon, so you naturally take small bites. Plus, visually, small utensils remind you of what you're trying to accomplish...small bariatric portion sizes. 

Use a cocktail fork or invest in some small utensils. "Baby utensils" often get recommended, but if you don't want to feel like a baby when you eat, consider getting some mindful eating portion control flatware that's more "adult" looking! (affiliate link)

Dish it In the Kitchen with Measured Serving Utensils

How you serve food makes a difference in your portion sizes.

Nix Family Style Eating

If you serve food at the table and keep it on the table while you eat, you're more likely to eat bigger portions. The sight of food is a trigger to eat...often more than you should. Make it easy to have small bariatric portion sizes by plating your food in the kitchen and taking it to the table.

Start Small in the Kitchen, End Small at the Table

And while you're at it...serve the right small portions to begin with. Use measured ladels to dish up your meal. This is my favorite 6 piece ladel set- it has 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup, 1 cup ladels and 1/2 cup and 1 cup slotted spoons. (affiliate link)

Portion Controlled Snack Containers

You're bound to have already heard "don't eat directly from multi-serving packages/bags." It's definitely good advice because it's too easy to eat a whole bag, especially of processed packaged snack foods. It can even happen after bariatric surgery because snack foods are "sliders." Always pre-portion snacks!

Portion controlled snack containers are definitely a smart investment! I love this 4 compartment detachable, stackable portion controlled storage container. It's perfect for bariatric portion sizes. You can even store protein powder in one if you're mixing up your own protein shakes along the way. (affiliate link)

Proportion Your Plate 

If measuring or pre-portioning food isn't your jam, simply use your (small) plate as a guide to the right bariatric portion sizes at mealtimes.

If you're at least 6 months-1 year post op, you can use this "Bariatric Plate Method" as a general guideline :

  • 3-4 oz protein (half of the meal)
  • ⅓ cup of vegetables (1/4 or more of the meal) 
  • 2-4 tablespoons of a quality carbs ( a few bites)

Eat protein first, veggies next, and if there's room, quality carbs.

"Official Bariatric PortionWare"

If you want to get super fancy, get some "official" bariatric portion dishes to help you proportion meals correctly at home or on the go. There are many fun options to choose from, but these are my personal favorites:

(affiliate links)

The Ultimate Key to Bariatric Portion Sizes:
Eat Mindfully

Remember, the "right" bariatric portion sizes depend on 3 factors and will vary over time. All of the tips, tools, and techniques listed here will help you start with a small portion. To make sure you stop at a small portion, master the skill of eating mindfully.

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