Sunday, August 29, 2010

Size Does Matter!

                                                                                                                                
So Ladies....                                                                                                               
 I know I don't need to tell you that
 SIZE DOES MATTER !
 Ladieeees... Focus!

 We're talkin PORTION CONTROL today!
 And with portion sizes....
Smaller Is Better!
   If weight loss or weight management is your goal, it is crucial to combine your clean eating with proper portion control.
 This means you are going to have to change your image of how much is a portion. Oversized portions are the norm now. We have been conditioned to believe that supersized portions are the healthy amount of food to eat.  When we go to restaurants, they serve us huuuge plates of pasta meant for one person, but actually, it's enough for a family of four to share. Bagels and muffins have grown to be three times the size they use to be, and sodas have increased from 8oz to 20 oz in the last 15 years.

   In order to stay within your correct daily caloric intake, you must know how much your eating.

Proper Serving Sizes for Common foods:
Protein = 2 1/2-3 oz = 2/3 deck of cards
Grains/Rice = 1/2 cup cooked = size of a light bulb
Whole Grain Pasta = 1/2 cup cooked = size of a light bulb
Low fat yogurt/ Skim Milk = 8 oz
Whole Grain Bread = 1 slice
Bagel = 1/2 of 2 oz bagel size of hockey puck 
Hard Cheese = 2 oz = size of 3-4 dice
Fats = 2 teaspoons = size of 2 dice
Potato = medium size = size of computer mouse
Cereal = 2/3 cup                                                                                                                  
Wine = 5 oz
        Here are some tips to keep your portion sizes in line:

1. Measure everything you eat.
    I know just the thought of measuring your food is exhausting, so I'm not saying you have to measure your food for the rest of your life. However, if you want to be able to accurately estimate the proper amount of food to eat, you need to see it measured out to readjust your perceptions. So for a couple of weeks, take out your measuring cups, liquid measures and food scales. Measure drinks, proteins, veggies and grains . You can use the nutritional labels on packaged foods to see what the recommended serving size is.  As you can see in the picture above to the right, we often think that the amount of food we are eating is a serving. However, a serving is actually a measured amount, a portion is how much we choose to eat.. The milk on the left is an 8 oz glass and the one on the right is actually double the size! The pancake on the left is the serving you should eat, about 4 inches, whereas the one on the right is about 8 inches and represents a common pancake portion.
These smaller amounts of food will take some time to get use to, especially if you have been eating double the amount you should be eating. But don't worry, soon your mind and stomach will adjust to the correct portion sizes.

2. When you go to a restaurant ask for a to go container right away.
   Chances are the amount of food you get in a restaurant is double the amount you should be eating. If the portion is too big, either split an entree with someone else or put half of it in a to go container right away, so you won't be tempted to eat more than one portion. You can also order an appetizer for your entree, which is usually a smaller amount of food and closer to an actual healthy serving size. If you order a sandwich, take off half of the bread.

3. Eat off of salad/9 inch plates for all of your meals including dinner.
   When you eat off of a large 12 inch dinner plate, it is natural to fill up the entire plate with food, because it feels as though that should be the size of our meal. However, you can put way too much food on a big plate like that. Simply using smaller plates, bowls and glasses, help us mentally feel that the amount of food we are eating is enough. It also helps us portion it out more accurately.

4. Split your plate into three parts
   If you don't feel like measuring one day, or you are somewhere that it just isn't convenient to pull out measuring cups, start with your 9 inch plate and imagine a line splitting your plate in half. You can fill one full half with veggies. On the other half, divide your plate into two quarters. One quarter you can put your protein on and the other quarter you can put your starch.

5.Fill up on low calorie foods
   If you are feeling hungry and feel totally unsatisfied with your new smaller portions, choose some low calorie, water based foods to fill up on.  Make a really big salad with lots of lettuce, spinach, tomatoes and peppers, but don't top with a lot of high calorie dressing. Just add a teaspoon of olive oil and as much vinegar or lemon as you like. Another great thing to eat before your meal is a low sodium, clear broth soup. It will make you feel fuller before you even start your main meal.
 Here are some easy ways to use your hands to help you figure out how much a serving size should be:
 Lean Protein : 
 2-3 ounces  = Size of your palm
 Complex Carbs from fresh leafy greens =
 2 cups = 2 open handfuls
 Complex carbs from dense veggies (asparagus, beets, beans, broccoli)=
 1 cup = Size of your fist
 Complex carbs from whole fruit  (apple or orange) =
 1 piece of fruit =1 handful
 Complex carbs from loose fruit: (GRAPES OR BERRIES) =
 1/2 cup =  amound you can hold in cupped hand
 Complex carbs from whole grains or pasta =
 1/2  CUP = amount you can hold in cupped hand

  It might be time intensive at first, but measuring how much you eat will help you stay on track with your weight loss goals!
   See I told you smaller can be better than bigger...sometimes anyway!!!
   Let me know if you notice a big difference between what you were eating and your new measured portions!
 

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