Saturday, October 9, 2010

Servings and Portions

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting October 5, 2010.

This week we talked about Portions vs. Servings and how to control them.

How super is supersize?
In the era of the supersized meal it's often hard to recognize normal portion sizes. Giant bottles of soda, extra-large bags of chips and king-size candy bars are part of our everyday eating landscape. But unfortunately, as our portion sizes get larger, so do our waistlines. And bigger packages can also sabotage portion control.

Research shows that people may tend to eat more food when it's served in larger containers. When movie-goers were given the same amount of popcorn in containers of two different sizes, the people given the larger tubs ate 44 percent more. (The lesson here is to use a smaller plate at dinner!)

Sizing things up
To keep portions in perspective, you need a tool to help you navigate through bulked-up portions. Visualizing recommended serving sizes by relating them to common household objects is an easy and useful technique. By comparing food portions to things you already recognize, you should be able to eyeball a food item and guesstimate how large it is. Long gone are the days of carrying around a food scale. It's wise to weigh things occasionally to get an accurate idea of how big portions should be, but relating those measurements to common objects and teaching yourself to recognize them will be a great step toward achieving your weight-loss goals.

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

Putting it into action
Once you have serving sizes committed to memory, you'll be ready to fit them into your eating plan.

• Limit servings of high-fat foods such as fatty meats and fried foods
• Buy single-servings of some foods, such as 1-ounce bags of chips or 1/2-cup servings of ice cream
• Remember that servings of most vegetables are extremely low in fat and calories. Bell peppers and button mushrooms just might become your new best buddies!
• Use smaller plates, bowls, and glasses….remember it is all in our heads but when we drink the same amount from a small glass rather than a large we become more satisfied and less disappointed
• Divide large quantities into individual serving sizes when you first open the container and be sure to label that container with the points value
• Remember to incorporate filling foods into your food choices to help you feel more satisfied.
• You get to choose what foods you eat so savor every bite. Take the time to really enjoy your food choices!
• Read your labels and figure out points values before you eat


Anonymous said...

Great info. Thank you for sharing. :) I have this horrible tendency to eyeball my serving sizes. Probably why I'm so big, huh? LOL I really need to buy a decent set of measuring cups and spoons.

Living a Changed Life said...

Stephanie - You're welcome! Yes you need to get those, because I just couldn't live without my measuring cups and spoons.

-J.Darling said...

I've come across a great household tool. It's a little pricey, but I LOVE it - The design on their bowls, cups, and plates help you keep portions under control w/o going crazy.

I've also measured just about everything in my house that I eat out of, so I know how much I'm pouring. ;)

Living a Changed Life said...

J. Darling - Thanks for the information! That is so cool.

Mama Maintenance said...

Great info to have and what a nice, practical way to remember it. I know portion-size is totally my downfall - I generally eat healthy, but have no self control! Congrats on your disciplined road to better health - keep up the great work!


P.S. Great minds think alike - nice blog template! ;)

Living a Changed Life said...

Thanks Valerie! I just love this blog template.


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