Breaking Portion Control Rules
To pull ourselves back when we are overly hungry, stressed out or just not paying attention when we eat is hard. Sitting in front of the TV, at our desk or at the computer can easily distract us and cause over eating. When we order our favorite meal at a restaurant, it’s hard to stop eating, especially when we have been taught to finish what is on our plate. Every other commercial on TV is about food…and it looks so good! How many of us watch the Food Network or cooking shows often? There are food traps surrounding us, but in the end we are in charge of our eating behavior. For our own health, there is every reason to take advantage of the tools at our disposal that help us control the food portions that we eat.
Tips on Healthy Eating from the USDA
Make half your plate veggies and fruits-Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients and may help promote good health. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
Fruits & Vegetables in Season
Apricots, Bananas, Beets, Bell Peppers, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Garlic, Grapefruits, Grapes, Green Beans, Honeydew Melon, Kiwifruit, Lima Beans, Mushrooms, Nectarine, Peaches, Peas, Plums, Radishes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, Watermelon
Portion Size and Weight Loss
Watch the Portion Size
-Use smaller dishes at meals.
-Serve food in the right portion amounts, and don’t go back for seconds.
-Put away any leftovers in separate, portion-controlled amounts. Consider freezing the portions you likely won’t eat for a while.
-Never eat out of the bag or carton.
-Don’t keep platters of food on the table; you are more likely to “pick” at it or have a second serving.
-Ask for half or smaller portions.
-Eyeball your appropriate portion, set the rest aside, and ask for a doggie bag right away.
-If you have dessert, share.
At the supermarket:
-Beware of mini-sized snacks — small crackers, cookies & pretzels. Most people end up eating more than they realize, and the calories add up.
-Choose foods packaged in individual serving sizes.
-If you like to eat ice cream out of the carton, pick up ice cream sandwiches or other individual-size servings.
6 ‘Handy’ Tips to Help Get You Slimmer by Summer
Here are six handy tips to help you estimate just how much of your favorite foods you should be eating.
1. Cereal flakes
It is very easy to pour too much cereal into your favorite bowl. A tight fist is around a cup of cereal, which is an appropriate portion for most of us. Top the cereal with fat free milk and berries and your bowl will fill up fast.
2. Meat, poultry, or fish
Most restaurants serve us far too much meat, often giving us nearly an entire pound’s worth. The palm of your hand is around 3-4 oz. Eat no more than 1-2 palms’ worth of meat, fish, or chicken per meal. The trick is to fill up half of your plate with veggies.
3. Mixed nuts
Nuts make for a great snack. Because they are high in fat and calories, however, it is so important to watch your portion. If you eat shelled peanuts or pistachios, you can see the shells, thereby unconsciously getting you to eat less. Many of us, however, carelessly nibble on nuts and end up overeating without realizing. My recommendation is to spread one layer of nuts on your palm (around 1/4 cup) and stop there! Don’t fall into the trap of just picking at nuts straight from the bag… because, before you know it, the entire bag will be empty.
It is very easy to eat too much cheese, especially if you are at a cocktail party. We nibble on cheese with a glass of wine, and before we know it, we’ve eaten more than 1,000 calories. With my “Handy Method”, however, just grab two index fingers’ worth of cheese (approximately 2 ounces) and you are set. Just think of a peace sign! And remember, if you’ve eaten more cheese than you have fingers, you definitely overate.
5. Peanut butter
Who doesn’t love eating peanut butter straight from the jar?! It can be a dangerous practice, however, if you are trying to watch your calories. On my program, you can eat peanut butter and still lose weight. Just follow my “rules of thumb” for a healthy serving of peanut butter. Aim for three thumb tips’ worth of peanut butter which equals around one tablespoon (3 teaspoons).
When we think of popcorn, we often think of the movie theater — a typical food trap, with its bottomless bags of popcorn. A bag of popcorn at the movie theater often holds 20 cups, far too much food for one person. Many of us are watching a movie and absent-mindedly digging into our oversize bags grabbing piece after piece. Before we know it, we’ve eaten the entire bag.
If you want an idea of how much popcorn you’re eating, scoop out one rounded handful. That’s about 1/2 cup. Or, cup both your hands together, and scoop out a mound of popcorn. That’s a cup. A healthy popcorn serving contains 3 cups of popcorn. Hold the butter.
Source: Huffington Post