In my last post, I talked about Americans poor food choices and how we can substitute other foods to make a healthier choice. But it’s not just about eating different foods, portion control plays an equally important part in controlling your weight. This is the hardest part, we’ve super-sized our meals in some cases all our lives and now we have to shrink our stomach so we can eat less and still feel full. O.K., I’m not blaming over weight solely on over-eating, Bad food choices and to many sugary drinks will cause excess body fat over time. That type of diet may not affect you during your school years, but as you mature even into your late 20’s and you settle into a desk job, your activity level starts to go down. And even if you work out three or four times a week, you still don’t have the same level of activity you had in your teens or earlier. That activity level you use to have burned all those calories you consumed while in school. Kids do eat poorly during their school years. Most over-weight problems start by those poor eating habits that developed during school. Most parents overlook the poor eating habits of their kids and are just happy that their eating something. As you read on, remember that weight control is still about ‘number of calories consumed each day”. With normal activity, a women will burn 1500 to 1800 calories depending on your size, Google it. And a man about 500 more. When you calorie count don’t forget the drinks. Eat only what you need to maintain good health. By reading the following you’ll get an idea of the proper portion. Restaurant portions have changed our views on what a portion should look like, don’t let them fool you.
Super-sized meals have inflated portion sizes, and us along with them. Start downsizing to healthy portions and your body will, too. Check food labels and restaurant menus for hidden calories. Learn to “eyeball” your food to gauge what’s too much — and what’s just right.
Shrink Your Plate to Lose Weight
You may have grown up being told to “clean your plate.” The problem is that dinner plates in homes — and at restaurants – have steadily gotten bigger. And so has the amount of food we put on them. If you clean your plate now, you’re probably overeating.
To shrink your portions — and your waistline:
• Eat from a smaller dish like a luncheon or salad plate.
• Learn and dish up the right-sized portion.
• Don’t go back for seconds or keep platters of food on the table to tempt you.
• Store leftovers in single-serving containers for other quick meals.
Eating Out? 4 Tips on Portion Size
Restaurants typically serve one person enough food for two or three. But you don’t have to eat it all. Be smart about
how to make restaurant portions work for you:
• Ask if you can order a half portion or something from the child’s menu.
• If you order a full-size entree, box up half of it before you start eating.
• Split dishes with a friend.
• Eat a healthy appetizer and soup or salad instead of an entree.
Your Daily Diet
How many calories you should have depends on your age, whether you’re a man or a woman, and how active you are. A woman who is not active should have 1,600-1,800 calories a day. An average-sized man who is fairly active should have 2,400-2,800 calories.
Have a healthy balance of foods each day:
• 1 1/2 – 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups of vegetables
• 6-9 ounces of grain, 1/2 from whole grains
• 3 cups of nonfat or low-fat dairy foods
• 5-6 1/2 ounces of protein (meat, beans, and seafood) each week
• No more than 5-7 teaspoons of oils, mostly from plants, fish, and nuts, rather than as added fat
• 160-330 calories from solid fats and added sugars
Learn to Eyeball a Portion Size
You don’t need to weigh or measure out your food every time you sit down to eat. Instead, keep a mental image of a deck of cards, a poker chip, a baseball, a hockey puck, a CD, dice, and a light bulb. This makes it easy for you eyeball healthy portion sizes.
Cut That Baked Potato Down to Size
1 medium potato = 1 computer mouse
That’s equal to 1 cup of vegetables.
If you use a mouse every day, it’s easy to grab the right size of potato at a grocery store. But a restaurant potato is likely to be twice that big and loaded with toppings and extra calories. To eat smart when you eat out:
• Eat a small portion of the potato and take the rest home for another meal.
• Choose a sweet potato instead. It gives you vitamin C and vitamin A, which keep your eyes and skin healthy.
For healthier pasta:
• If you eat more than one portion of pasta when you eat out, skip the breadbasket. But count the extra pasta
• another portion of your grains for the day.
Try whole-grain pasta. You’ll fill up on less and get extra fiber.
• Instead of Alfredo or other creamy sauces, choose tomato-based marinara.
• Use low-fat salad dressing when you make pasta salad.
These are examples of proper portions. And eating healthy foods becomes important when you are eating less. You want more nutrition to keep up your strength. Often people who are losing weight will also lose strength and that comes from lack of nutrition in the diet. Be sure to choice the right foods when dieting. Do your research.