Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Learning Portion Sizes at Home


Here is the meeting summary for 06.14.2011.

The best place to learn correct portion sizes is at home. And the more familiar you are with adequate portion sizes there, the easier it is to estimate portion sizes when you're eating out.

Here's how to set up your home environment:

Keep measuring tools handy. Set up your cooking/eating area so that measuring tools are easily available and in plain sight. Place measuring cups in the silverware drawer as a reminder to check portions now and then!

Measure liquid and solids differently. There are different measuring systems for liquids and solids (i.e. for solids, 16 ounces equals one pound, and with liquids eight fluid ounces equals one fluid cup). The best tool for solid measure is a food scale or baking/dry measuring cups. For liquid measure, a clear glass or plastic measuring cup with cup- and fluid ounce-markings on the side gives additional room at the top so liquids won't spill over.

Measure accurately. Whether you're using a tablespoon or cup, it should be leveled off. (ha and that doesn’t mean with your teeth)And the best measuring spoons and cups are ones that can be squared off for easy leveling.

Note the actual size of your dinnerware and cups. Figure out what correct servings (for example, a three-ounce piece of chicken next to a one-cup serving of spinach) look like on your plates. Tip: If you have a smaller plate such as a salad or dessert plate, using it instead of a larger dinner plate might make you feel as if you're having more food.

Store foods in individual serving sizes. After you buy bulk-size packages of food, portion out correct serving sizes. For example, if you purchase an extra large bag of pretzels, use plastic baggies to portion it into single servings. The same goes for large packages of poultry and meat – divide it into single servings right away for easy cooking or freezing.

Check the actual serving size. When eating packaged foods or drinks, be aware that a package or bottle probably contains more than one serving, perhaps more than two. When cooking from recipes, be mindful of serving sizes and how many servings a recipe actually makes.

The more we measure portion sizes at home the easier it will be for us to identify what a proper portion size looks like when we dine out. Remember all of the resources that you have as well to help you better estimate points plus values vs. guesstimating. Do you know the difference? Guesstimating is suggesting a value out of nowhere with no knowledge, and an estimate uses some sort of prior information to help you make the decision. For example, if you know that a enchilada from on the border is 7 pp, then a good estimate for the pp value of an enchilada at say papacitas would be around 7 pp.

To help you better estimate points plus values, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with your program materials. Read through your pocket guide and become familiar with the points plus values for your basic staple foods. That way when you are at a restaurant, if you know a plain baked potato is usually 4 pp then you know that a fully loaded baked potato would not also be 4 pp right? Are you following me?

Some great resources can be:
*Pocket guide
*Dining out companion
*Complete Food Companion
*Getting Started Book

Remember the more time we put into learning more about the new PointsPlus system and PointsPlus values the more successful at weight loss we will be!


Melissa said...

Thanks so much for posting these helpful hints!

-J.Darling said...

A few years back, I got this stuff called "Thinnerware". The company has had to close, but I LOVED the product! The dishes had a flower pattern on them that gave you a loose guide to making a meal balanced. The bigger flower was the veggie space, the deck of cards sized was for the meat, and the smallest was for the starch. They also carried bowls and cups that were a solid color on the outside and stripped on the inside. Each stripe marked off 1/2 a cup. I still use it all and would buy more if they hadn't closed!

I also recommend taking a measuring cup to your favorite bowls and cups and getting a better idea of how much these things hold.

I use a 28 oz refillable water bottle all day long to help track my fluids.

Living a Changed Life said...

That is such a bummer that the company closed! Those would be such a great investment. I love that idea. Thanks for sharing!


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