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Chicken,  Food For Better Health,  Healthy Eating,  Main Course,  Recipes

Step 3: Perfect Portions for Weight Loss

Portion control is personally, my most frustrating issue with weight loss. 

Usually, when I taste something really good, I eat as I will never have the opportunity to eat it again. 

Of course, that is the wrong mentality. 

Eating at home, I can always repeat a delicious meal or eat leftovers.

However, what about when you are putting the food on the plate

From step 1, we learned to keep the food in the kitchen, don’t bring it to the table; so you can avoid those disastrous second helpings.

In step 3, I am learning how to “guesstimate” portions, so I can eat meals and snacks with the right amount of calories, but satisfying my appetite. Sur La Table

What are the 3 Primary Macronutrients We Need to Live

Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the three main components of food and provide all the calories we need to live.   We need all three to function properly and maintain a healthy metabolism.

Micro-nutrients are the vitamins and minerals – which are calorie free
Found mainly in plant-based foods and dairy. Carbs come in three main types: SUGAR – white sugar, honey, maple syrup, natural fruit sugar STARCH – wheat, rice, and potatoes FIBER – in fruits, vegetables and whole grains

Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of fuel, but you need to choose GOOD carbs.

The main component of meat, poultry, fish and other foods of animal origin. Tofu and tempeh – both made from soybeans – are also protein-rich vegetarian foods. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which your body uses to make its own muscle.
The oils, nuts, butter and all the other fats you eat are a mix of these three main types: MONOUNSATURATED – in almonds, avocados, and olive oil POLYUNSATURATED – in corn oil, safflower oil, fatty fish, and walnuts SATURATED – fats that are solid at room temperatures such as butter, the fat around steak, and coconut oil.

The GOOD FAT in your diet helps you absorb micro-nutrients.

Sur La Table


JoAnn's Food Bites Portion PlateHere is an example of how your plate should be portioned.

Your protein should fill a little less than 25% of the plate.

Chop up some carrots and broccoli to fill a little less than 50% of the plate.

Place a small slice of bread/grain less than 25% of the plate.

A tablespoon of fat can be placed in the center of the plate. 

If the food fits these sections of your 8-inch dinner plate, then you are sticking to the proper portion level. 

If portions are stacked high or filled with deep-fried foods, then you will impede your weight loss plan.

Here is a delicious recipe I modified from America’s Test Kitchen.  They originally call for bone-in, skin-on chicken breast; however, I used boneless, skin-less chicken breast (which have fewer calories) and it was great with a side of rice. But First, Espresso Maker

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Pan-Roasted Chicken Breast and Simple Sauce

Get a brown crust without deep-frying in this simple weeknight low calorie meal.  Serve with your favorite rice dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Brine 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 144kcal



  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 cup table salt


  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast thighs are also good for this recipe
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil


  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp all-purpose wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh, chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp butter, cold


  • FOR THE BRINE: Mix the water and table salt in a large container.  Add the chicken breast and refrigerate for half an hour.
    Remove chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450º.
  • Whisk the cornmeal and cornstarch in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Thoroughly coat both sides of the chicken and press in the mixture.
  • Heat the 2 Tablespoons of canola oil in an OVEN PROOF skillet.  Once the oil is near the smoke point, carefully lay in the chicken breast and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes) then flip.  After 3-4 minutes on the second side, transfer skillet to the oven.
  • Cook until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160º - 165º which should be about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and tent the chicken with foil
  • FOR THE SAUCE: Heat the 1 Tablespoon of canola oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, until shimmering.  Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds, coating the shallot.  Whisk in the broth until all flour is absorbed.  Cook until slightly thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice, parsley, chives and butter and any accumulated chicken juice. Season with salt and pepper.  Spoon sauce over the chicken and serve. 
Nutrition Label for the Chicken Breast Recipe: Notice the recipe makes TWO PORTIONS. Food has 144 calories PER SERVING.

Reading nutrition labels is a must!

In an ideal world, we would not eat ANYTHING which had a nutrition label, but that just is not reality.

Be cautious of serving size!

You may read a label and it contains a microscopic amount of calories; however, this could be for a microscopic portion.


These are hidden ingredients which are loaded in sugar.

AVOID anything which contains the following in the first five ingredients:

  • Hydrogenated oil
  • Processed Soy
  • Corn Syrup
  • Margarine
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Enriched Wheat flour
  • Bleached or unbleached flour
  • Sugar, Inc.

10 Portion Control Tips

  1. Drink a glass of water before you sit down to eat!
  2. Fill half your plate with vegetables.
  3. Avoid second helpings – if you are still hungry, have some raw veggies.
  4. Eat slower!
  5. Turn off the TV and put away the smart phone at dinner – eliminate distractions.
  6. Avoid using condiments as a garnish.  They are loaded in hidden fat!
  7. Use a portion plate – or smaller plate and silverware.
  8. Put away leftovers in portion-sized storage containers immediately.
  9. If dining out: share an entrée with a friend.
  10. If not sharing an entrée, ask for a TO-GO box immediately. Turn your one meal, into two.

Do you have some portion control tips you want to share with our other weight loss partners?  Jump over to the Facebook Group now and share!  


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