Saturday, August 23, 2008

{portion control}

This is exactly how I feel sometimes....

I'm gonna be honest here- I never eat a 1/2 cup of ice cream! When I think about just eating a 1/2 cup, I'm kinda like, "Dude, what's the point then? Why waste those calories on a taste? I'd rather have an entire Popsicle or something. Even those 100 calorie packs are kind of a joke. It's like, "Here, eat this. It's only 100 calories, so you don't have to stress!" but then I eat one and it's like that was the teaser. After about 3 bites, the goodness is gone so I think, "Gee, what's another 100 calories?" And I eat another pack. And so on so's a vicious cycle.

Seriously though, have you ever looked at the portion size on most food labels? Most cereals have a serving size of 1/2 - 3/4 of a cup! I know one of my huge downfalls is portion size. When I did weight watchers last time, I remember the meeting coach saying, "Eat a normal portion. Then wait 20 minutes, because it takes 20 minutes for your brain to tell your stomach you're full (note: full in weight watchers terms means 'satisfied'). If you're still hungry after 20 minutes, go ahead and eat just a little bit more, but 9 times out of 10 you'll be satisfied."

Another thing I've heard is to not eat every last bite on your plate. You know how some restaurants give you huge enough portions to feed a small family? Well, I always feel obligated to eat all of it. I mean, what about all those starving kids in Africa? I eat for them. Seriously though, I hate wasting food, but I also hate gaining weight. Again, it's a vicious cycle!

So here are a few ways to help with portion control...

1. Break down leftovers instead of using one large container to store leftovers such as casseroles, side dishes, or pasta, why not separate them into individually-sized containers?
That way, when you reach in the fridge to find something to reheat, you're retrieving just enough for one helping. Breaking down meal-sized servings into single servings will help you limit your food intake with no additional effort.

2. Say Yes to Salads: Eating a salad before lunch or dinner is a sure-fire way to keep from overeating. It will help curb your appetite and give you a sense of satiety sooner.
Of course, we're not talking a little bit of iceberg lettuce here. To reap full portion control benefits from rabbit food, load up your salad with veggies or even lean meat like turkey cubes. The fiber in the veggies will help you feel fuller and lean meat's protein will give you an instant energy boost.

3. Master Mini Meals: You can make sure your blood sugar stays at an even keel and keep hunger at bay by eating healthful small meals throughout the day.
My friend Jenn has maintained a 30 pound weight loss for three years and is in such great shape, she became an aerobics instructor! She swears by mini meals to maintain her weight and keep her energy level up. Mini meals are by far the best way to prevent overeating because you'll get never too hungry and lose control of your portion intake.

4. Serving Standards: Learn to "eyeball" standard portion sizes and stick to them when dining out or dishing up meals.
Keep these tips in mind: 3 oz. of meat is the size of a deck of cards or an audio tape; 1 oz. of meat is the size of a matchbook; 1 cup of potatoes, rice or pasta looks like a tennis ball.

5. And last, but not least ... indulge!
Treating yourself once in a while to a "forbidden" food will keep you from feeling deprived; a sense of deprivation can easily lead to overeating. Stop a binge before it starts by indulging every now and then.

What techniques do you use to help with portion control?


Sarah Marie said...

Oh my gosh -- how crazy -- John and I were JUST watching our Brian Regan DVD last night! I love Brian Regan and I love all of his jokes about portions and such. Sooo hilarious! And omg so true! Who the heck eats half a cup of icecream ?! That's nutz! I def gotta work on portion control.

Lisa K said...

One technique that Patsy actually taught me is to not use a full-size dinner plate but to use a salad-size plate for meals. That way you're not loading lots of food on your plate because there's no room!

Gavin, Laura, and Sydney said...

I am the same way with "eating everything on my plate". It's HORRIBLE. I blame that on my mom-- sorry mom! I mean, she always told us to finish what was on our plates, and that totally stuck with me! BAD!!!
Oh- the thing that works best for me with snack food is to take it OUT of it's container and put some on a plate. IE... put some crackers or chips onto a plate or into a bowl. This way you know how much you are eating. I am way guilty of just grabbing the box, and then I don't know how much I had. Thanks for all the other pointers! And, thanks again for doing this blog! You are awesome!