Yes, something as small as getting to know how much a portion is, can make the difference between losing 2 pounds next month and 10. You wont be losing the weight by doing away with your favorite foods, but by watching the size of your portions.
Most of us dont think about it much, but food portion sizes have grown way out of control. When you eat out at a restaurant, have you noticed the heaping plateful of food they deliver to your table? Its enough to feed three or four people, not just one.
This may not sound like a bad thing to you, because most of us love to eat. Give us lots and lots of food and we feel secure and comforted. Its an emotional thing plus you feel as though you are getting a good value for your money.
The problem is that our bodies are NOT comforted by all this food they are being overloaded with far too many calories, and this is true even when we eat at home. Weve gotten used to eating such large quantities of food that we believe it takes that much to satisfy us, but more often than not much less will do.
Fruit 1/2 cup Vegetables 1/2 cup (1 cup for leafy vegetables like lettuce) Meat 2 to 3 oz. (1 cup cooked beans) Grains 1 slice of bread or 1/2 cup of rice, pasta or cereal Dairy 1 cup milk, 1 1/2 ounces of cheese, or 1 cup of yogurt
The USDA recommends 6 to 11 servings of grains, 2 to 3 servings of meat or beans, 2 to 3 servings of dairy products, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, and 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily. Exactly how many servings your body needs will depend on many factors, including your age, gender, current weight, activity level, and whether you are pregnant or nursing.
However, even without measuring your portions, your body will let you know when its had enough to eat but you have to pay attention, and this requires a bit of practice. Most often its a very subtle feeling of satisfaction, as if your body was saying, There, I feel better now, you can stop eating. Most of us dont notice this feeling because were focusing on our dinner conversation or the television, or we simply want to keep eating because the food tastes good.
Needless to say, eating more food than your body needs makes it impossible to lose weight.
If you believe that your food portions are too big, try measuring them and compare that to how much you usually eat. You can also practice paying closer attention to how your body feels as you eat. When you feel that inner click as your body indicates it has had enough, stop eating.
There is nothing wrong with deciding on having a portion of potato chips or ice cream while you are on a diet. Actually you are more likely to stick to your diet if you do cheat. However, the problem (and weight gain) occurs when what you believe to be 1 portion is actually 6 portions. If you are looking to lose weight or avoid gaining weight you will have to read the package and see how much a portion actually is.
Each product that you purchase will list the size of the portion and how many calories, fats, proteins sugars etc, are in each portion. Never assume that a small bag, bottle or canister is 1 serving you may be surprised that many single serving products are actually meant for 2-3 servings. If you eat the whole bag that looks like a single serving (yes, looks are very misleading most smaller bags are more than 1 serving) you may have consumed 600+ calories when you thought it was only 150 or so.
When you want to lose weight ALWAYS read the label and if you are going to a restaurant look online first at their menu and nutrition information. More than likely the meal will contain at least twice what you think it may and more often than not 5 times the amount. If you know in advance, you can always eye your meal and put aside a good amount for you to doggie bag. Not only will save money but you will save your diet.