Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Portion Distortion

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting on March 16, 2010.

In the meeting room this week we talked about portion control and some of the most commonly “mis~portioned” foods. We are all guilty of not being entirely 100% honest with ourselves when it comes to tracking the correct portion sizes.
Some of the most common miscalculated foods are:
• Wine~serving size is ½ cup but compared to most wine glasses that looks like a tsp
• Peanut Butter~ it is so hard to level out those measuring spoons- without leveling most of us are doubling the measuring spoon with each scoop!
• Fruit~fruit these days tend to run extremely large and counting them as one point is usually not so accurate It might be a good idea to consider fruit as a set points value of 2 each time unless you are buying the extremely tiny hard to find 1 point fruit
• Salad dressing~ especially at restaurants and buffet lines when there is a ladle you might find you are using quite a bit more than 2 tbsp~ one of those ladles is ¼ of a cup~ also just because 2 tbsp is 0 points that doesn’t mean you should drench your entire plate of lettuce with it and count it as 0 points
• Coffee creamer~ what its low in points….but when you have 6 glasses of coffee a day that creamer can add up really quickly
• Cereal & milk~ let’s face it guys a single serving of these foods combined looks pitiful in that giant bowl we use so…little by little we add just a little bit more cereal…and then it needs more milk…and so on

Now then in the meeting we talked about some good techniques that we can use when measuring spoons and cups are not available to us.
For example:
• Your fist is about the same size as one cup of fruit or pasta
• Your thumb (tip to base) is the size of one ounce of meat or cheese
• Your palm (minus fingers) equals three ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
• Your cupped hand equals one to two ounces of nuts or pretzels

Here are some more good portion control techniques:
• Don't leave a half-eaten birthday cake sitting on your kitchen counter. Wrap up cake and cookies and send them home with your guests.
• Doggie-bag it at restaurants. Their portions can sometimes be extra large. Ask that half of your meal be wrapped up to take home. You can even share a meal! I love getting two meals for the price of one.
• Consider ordering kiddie-sized/senior meals at restaurants. These dinners offer "built-in" portion control. Some restaurants even have lunch portions available.
• Minimize bargain temptations. If you buy big tubs or bags of snack foods to save money, store them on a high shelf so they're not within arm's reach. Or, immediately divide them into single serve portions and stash them away in a hard-to-reach place.
• Learn to eyeball portion sizes, so it becomes second nature. Three ounces of chicken, for instance, equals the size of a deck of cards or your palm.
• Make your own "frozen" dinners. When recipes yield extra servings, store the leftovers in single serve containers for portion-controlled meals later on, or lunch at work.
• Retire your serving platters. If half a tray of lasagna stares you in the face while you eat dinner, you may be more likely to reach for seconds. Instead, serve yourself a portion and put the rest away. You can always go back for more, but this way, you may be less likely to.
• Stock up on smaller plates. A half-empty 10-inch dinner plate spells deprivation; a salad plate filled to the edge seems like a huge meal.
• Eat slowly! Research suggests that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to know that it's full. If you gobble down your food, seconds will be much more tempting.

This week focus on one of the foods that you feel you struggle with counting accurately and focus on what you need to do to make your tracker true to what you are eating.

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