Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Portion Sizes!!!

How is everyone doing with getting fit?  One big obstacle that can affect our goals is our portion sizes of the food we eat.  Especially when we go out to eat in a restaurant- the U.S. has some of the largest portion sizes of anywhere in the world!  It's a wonder why we have the highest obesity rates. So, paying attention to how much you are putting on your plate is a big deal.  Try to use a smaller plate to eat.  Eating can be very psychological. We "think" we need to fill the plate up, so using a smaller one tricks us into thinking we have enough food.  Many of us were taught as children to "clean our plates".  That's actually a terrible habit, if in fact you are taking too much.  I'm not about waste, at all, but, you are better off saving what's left on your plate in the refrigerator than trying to eat it all, if you are full.  Another thing we tend to do is eat off of our kids' plates. Bad habit!!  So, let me encourage you to read, read, read labels!  Get a good set of measuring cups and use them to measure your portion sizes.  Most people are very surprised at what "one serving" looks like.  When it comes to meat, 3 ounces is about the size of a deck of cards.  Measuring is very important when it comes to items like pasta and rice.  Those calories add up very quickly.  I always measure my granola- it's what I eat very often for breakfast, but only 1/4 of a cup in 1/2 cup of organic vanilla yogurt with some fruit.  Granola can be healthy, but it packs a lot of calories, so you must be careful how much you consume.  It's a good form of healthy carbs, protein and fat and is a much better choice than a bowl of surgary cereal.  I make my own granola or I eat an organic variety that is not filled with refined sugar, but instead, is sweetened with honey or molasses and has healthy nuts in it- that's where the protein comes from.  This is another reason why reading labels is necessary- you have to know what you are eating.  Chemicals in food can make us retain fat on our bodies.

For years I have encouraged my clients to keep a food journal.  Well, in this age of technology, that has gotten easier.  There is a wonderful app called My Fitness Pal.  You can access it on the internet if you don't have a way to download an app.  This app allows you enter everything you eat each day, as well as the calories you burned exercising (obviously, that part isn't going to be 100% accurate, since the app doesn't know how hard you pushed yourself or to what level you worked out- but, it's a rough estimate).  You can enter how much weight you want to lose, and it will calculate how many calories you should eat each day.  It's really a great way to keep track of what you're eating.  For example, after you enter your breakfast calories, it will show you how many calories you have left to eat that day.  It really helps you to make good choices, knowing that you only have "x" amount of calories left to consume that day.

I have always said that I am about eating in moderation- except, when it comes to chemicals!    So, here is an example of how I allow myself to eat something that's not exactly healthy for me.  This is also how I taught my kids to eat.  If I know I'm going to want something that's high in calories or fat, I never start off eating that item first.  Instead, I eat healthy items until I'm almost full, and then I have a little bit of that food I'm craving.  It's just enough to satisfy, but not enough to sabotage my eating for the day.  When my kids were young and we were eating lunch, I would give them the healthy food first, ex:  turkey breast on whole wheat, veggies and fruits.  Then, when they were done eating all of that I would let them have some chips (chemical free ones of course) or a cookie or something of that nature.  They never ate a lot of the junk because they were full from the good stuff, yet, they never felt deprived.  Another huge rule in our house is:  NEVER EAT ANYTHING FROM THE BAG!!!!!!!!!  So many people will sit down with a bag of chips and have no idea how many they have just consumed.  We tend to eat mindlessly, especially if it's in front of the television.  Always, measure out a serving on a plate and then put the bag away.

Eating healthy doesn't have to be a chore- sometimes we just need to break those bad habits!!!!  Oh, and I have a new facebook page at  I hope you go and "like" it!!!

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