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Get Movin' Monday: Don't Count Calories, Count Cups

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Minnesota doctor says many of us are making a big mistake when it comes to our diets.

Dr. Nick Meyer is an orthopedic surgeon, but it was his patients' weight issues that motivated him to dive into nutrition.

"Patients I saw were having degenerative hip issues, degenerative knees and arthritis because of excessive weight and wearing things out," he said.

He says too many people trying to lose weight fixate on fad diets that are hard to sustain. Dr. Meyer believes to shed pounds, think portions. Instead of obsessing over calories, his book, The ProportionFit Diet, is all about cups.

"It gives you a visual, you can see and think about how much you're eating than having to count calories," he said.

Dr. Meyer did the math and found an average cup of food is 270 calories. So a 140-pound person only needs seven cups of food a day -- a 200-pound person needs roughly 10 cups.

Dr. Meyer says knowing how to measure food is all about practice.

"For example an apple fits nicely in a cup, so you can just get the concept of volume and understand that is a cup," he said. "You put a cup of rice together, pretty easy to measure that."

"The beauty is you can take that cup of rice, re-shape it and start to visualize what does that slice of pizza look like well it's about the same as a cup," he said, as he shaped the rice into the same size of the pizza.

When it comes to Halloween candy and other treats, Dr. Meyer said the idea is to not restrict or deprive yourself, just keep it reasonable and within your daily cup limit.

Dr. Meyer says if you want to lose weight, you simply reduce the amount of cups you're supposed to eat in a day. This has worked for him, he struggled with his own weight issues, but counting cups has changed that.

He said he wishes he could have come up with this diet in time to help his dad, who was overweight but has since passed away.

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