With at least 68.5% of Americans overweight, it’s no wonder that the weight loss industry is in the billions of dollars with more diets available than you can count.
You’ve worked all day, you are exhausted and have a family to feed. In a culture of 2 income families, it’s not uncommon to grab a quick bite from a fast food restaurant. Fast food tends to be very high in calories, but you think, I’m only getting one portion for myself and one portion for each of my family members. Surely, that’s okay. This article will take a look at one of the key strategies for successful weight loss and the ability to meet your weight management goals — portion control.
Portion vs. Serving Size
The terms “serving size” and “portion” are common terms we are all familiar with. But, is there a difference? What you eat is a portion. What you should eat is a serving size. The vast majority of adult Americans consume up to one third more food than they should eat. Understanding and effectively measuring serving size is part of the solution to the portion problem.
Portion Control: Can you guess the right portion?
Let’s take a fun quiz (cover the answers below before you begin).
1. Your bagel, hamburger bun, and cooked brown rice should be the same portion size. Should each be the size of a baseball, light bulb, or hockey puck?
2. How about corn on the cob? Would you choose a light bulb, computer mouse, or tennis can?
3. Baked potatoes come in all sizes. Which is the right size — light bulb, computer mouse, or tennis ball?
4. How can a serving of ground beef be measured? Would you choose a deck of cards, 3/4 the size of a soda can, or base ball?
5. What about popcorn? Would you choose a soda can, tennis canister, or light bulb?
6. Now for your serving of salad greens, cooked vegetables or fruit. Would you choose a deck of cards, hockey puck or baseball?
7. I confess to loving cheese. What is the serving size? Choose either a CD, 3 stacked dice, or 5 stacked dice?
8. Peanut butter is a favorite of many. Would you select a deck of cards, 3 stacked dice or a golf ball for a serving?
9. What would we do without butter or spread? Would you choose 1 dice, 1 poker chip, or a golf ball for a serving?
10. Now about that treat. How large should our brownie be? Would you choose a golf ball, small post-it notes, or a deck of cards?
Answers: (1) hockey puck (2) light bulb (3) computer mouse (4) deck of cards (5) tennis canister (6) baseball (7) 3 stacked dice (8) golf ball (9) poker chip (10) small post-it notes
TIP #5: ADD WATER. Your stomach is like a balloon. Fill it with anything — burgers, apples, rice and you’ll eventually feel full. A smarter way to fill your belly without stuffing it with calories is to take sips of water between bites of food. This will increase the bulk in your stomach, blowing up the balloon, and help you feel full more quickly without a calorie glut.
TIP #6: FILL WITH FIBER. Fiber passes through your body undigested, slowing the absorption of nutrients and making you feel fuller longer, according to a 2008 review study by University of Minnesota researchers. Try adding high-fiber foods like whole wheat pasta, raspberries, beans, and peas to your meals.
How did you do on your quiz? Rather than carrying a bag containing light bulbs, tennis canisters, a computer mouse, dice, post-it notes, a deck of cards, tennis and base balls, what would remind you of the proper portion size?
(c) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer