People blame weight gain on a lot
of things; heredity, hormones, age, and metabolism, are just a few. However,
for many people, eating too much food is really what's behind the extra junk in
their trunk. It's important then that we pay particular attention not to just
what we eat, but how much. When as little as 200 to 300 calories a day can
impact your weight gain or loss you need to do more than eyeball your portions
when dieting. It's estimated too that most people underestimate their food
intake by 40%! So, while a lot of people dread the thought of measuring and
weighing foods, it really is important.
My daughter the dietician shared
that one of her colleagues had been working with a woman that despite all
efforts just wasn’t losing weight. The dietician had the client keep a food
diary and write down everything she ate for a week and the journal entries
looked reasonable and healthy. Still unable to get to the bottom of the problem
the dietician gave the client a gallon ziploc bag and told her to put into it
any tastes, nibbles or bites she would normally have over a day’s time. She
wouldn’t include her food from meals or a snacks but just what she would
normally nibble at mindlessly and forget to add to her written eating
journal. A bit of cheese left on a
child’s lunch plate, a couple of crackers when cleaning up the kitchen, a few
tastes while preparing a sauce for dinner, a few chips before she rolled down
the bag top. AT THE END OF THE DAY THE
WOMAN HAD COMPLETELY FILLED THE ZIPLOC BAG.
While I’m sure none of us wants
to cheat ourselves or our competitors it is really easy to kind of guess we got
all of our water in, not count the half of hubby’s truffle he shared with us as
“our sugar day”, tell ourselves that we are having a serving of crackers and
then have just a couple more and a couple more and a couple more but still
record just one serving.
Early on I recommended that you
purchase the "EatSmart Precision
Pro". It is super easy to use and stores in a small space. On Amazon.com
there are over 2000 positive reviews.
Let's say you want to have
some cheese and crackers. Your crackers are packaged so you know they are about
20 calories each and then you look at your cheese. Unless it is pre-portioned,
you have to guess how much a one ounce portion will be.
So, you cut off a slice and
hope that you got it right. Cheese is a fairly high calorie food as is red
meat, bacon, and cooked pasta. How much did you really eat? If you have a
scale, then you know the EXACT amount.
Besides measuring meats and
cheeses I love it for portioning out other favorites. If I check and the
portion size of my favorite Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips is 17 chips… but
the chips in my bag are of varying sizes with some broken- it is easy to end up
with a bit too many. But checking the portion weight makes it easy to get it
exact. Personally I like to get out the scale and prepare several bags of my
favorites and have them in the snack size ziplocs all ready to eat.
There are of course other
tools to check your portion sizes:
Liquid measuring cup - A clear glass or plastic liquid measure is best for measuring
soups, milk, juices, and other liquids.
Measuring cups - Use standard kitchen measuring cups to measure vegetables,
chopped fruit, pasta, and cottage cheese.
Measuring spoons - Measuring spoons aren't just for cooking and baking; use
them to measure margarine, oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, or peanut butter. I
NEVER eat peanut butter without measuring it with a Tablespoon measuring spoon.
I cannot be trusted with peanut butter!
Kitchen Scale - Once you begin using a kitchen scale, you'll wonder how you
ever lived without one. well.
"If we could give every
individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not
too much, we would have found the safest way to health." – Hippocrates
For those of you without a
kitchen scale these guidelines can be of help.
The look of normal portion sizes
oz. meat = size of a matchbox
oz. meat = size of a deck of cards (the recommended portion for a meal)
oz. meat = size of a thin paperback book
medium potato = size of a computer mouse
inch cube of cheese= 1 ounce
CHALLENGE FOR THIS COMING WEEK IS TO WEIGH AND MEASURE AS MUCH OF OUR FOOD AS
POSSIBLE (INCLUDING OUR DAILY WATER REQUIREMENTS). NO
UNCOUNTED BITES OR NIBBLES- NO GUESSING HOW MANY CHIPS OR CRACKERS. FOR EVERY
DAY YOU WEIGH OR MEASURE EVERYTHING YOU DRINK OR EAT YOU WILL EARN 5 BONUS
(Note: when eating out it is OK to believe their portion
and calorie estimates as given on myfitnesspal or other websites)