Portion size counts. While it’s not important if you’re eating lettuce or most other vegetables, when it comes to food higher in calories, portion size counts. People often wonder why they aren’t getting the success they expect, but upon questioning, I find they make a lot of portion size mistakes. Think about it, you could eat the whole stalk of celery, bag of carrots or head of lettuce and it won’t make much difference to your calorie count. However, there’s a huge difference between eating a few potato chips and a family size bag.
Pack food based on portion size, particularly snacks.
For instance, nuts and dried fruit can be a great snack and fits well into the range of healthy eating, but they’re calorie dense. One-third cup of mixed nuts and dried fruit is between 130 and 190 calories. If you buy in bulk or make your own, divide the mix to individual serving sizes and put them in sealable sandwich bags, to make it easy to maintain portion control. The same is true for most snack foods, such as chips or Cheetos. While it’s not recommended on any healthy diet, if you want to splurge, separate one portion size, about 15 chips or 13 Cheetos, and put it in a bowl or on a plate, so you don’t eat too much.
Your plates are too large.
It’s harder to adjust your portions properly if you’re using large plates. It’s all about perspective. Dinner plates have gotten larger since the 1960s, increasing in size from 8.5-inches in diameter to 12-inches with restaurant plates being as large as 13-inches in diameter. The size of the plate affects how much food you think you have on your plate. The same serving size on a small plate looks huge, but rather tiny on a 13-inch diameter plate. Use smaller plates to help you maintain portion size and stick with your weight loss program.
Use common objects to evaluate portion size.
Whether you’re eating poultry or meat, a three ounce portion is the size of a deck of cards. You can eyeball a cup of rice, pasta or even ice cream. It’s the same size as a tennis ball. How much peanut butter, jelly or salad dressing is in one portion? Think of the size of a golf ball and you’ll be right. One portion of butter is the size of one die, while an ounce of cheese is the size of four dice.
- Divide your plate up into portions. The protein for a meal should a forth of the plate. The same is true for complex carbohydrates. Vegetables and salads should be half the plate and only about ½ teaspoon should be reserved for fat.
- Always read labels. You’ll be surprised at what the manufacturer considers portion size. Most people are happy to find their favorite junk food isn’t as fattening as they thought, until they realize the portion size is just a warm up for the main eating frenzy. Have you ever stopped at eating three Oreos?
- You’ll be more apt to stick with healthy eating when you consider calories and portions. One apple is approximately 90 calories, while 9 potato chips has approximately the same amount, but is less filling and less nutritious.
- For most people the size of their fist is approximately one cup of food. Your thumb is approximately one serving for women and two thumbs is the right amount for men.
For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym