Hi Friends! How’s your Monday? Ugh…I really didn’t want to get out of bed today. I didn’t sleep well last night. Tossed & turned all night. Too much on my mind! When my alarm went off at 4:30 a.m., I did not want to get up. My motivation was knowing how much better I would feel after going out for a run/walk before work. Every morning I see an old lady riding her bike. She’s too cute in her helmet & reflective vest peddling along! I always remind myself that if she can get up & exercise so can I. And you can too! 🙂
How many of you read food labels for the nutrition facts?
Let me preface this post by stating the obvious. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy, happy & balanced life is about eating well and being physically active. I am a firm believer that calorie counting is a must for weight loss success. Other people argue that it’s not, but everyone’s entitled to their opinions. I lost 80 pounds in a year and have maintained my weight-loss for 3 years. I did it by counting every bit of food and liquid I consumed every day. Writing down or using an app on your smart phone is the best way to see exactly what & how much you are eating. Over time, you will notice trends in your behavior. After all, we are human and our tendency is to do the same thing over and over again. By seeing what you are eating written down, you will be able to identify opportunities to scale back. Eating fewer calories of a couple of things throughout the day can add up big time!
Part of calorie counting is controlling portions. Do you know what a serving size is? Americans in general have way too much food on their plates. I’ve traveled to many countries and I can tell you first hand, other cultures don’t eat as much as we do. We eat like there’s going to be a famine tomorrow.
So what is a serving size? See my examples below.
- 5.5 servings in the bag
- 1 serving = 11 chips
- Each 1 serving is 130 calories
- Total calories in the bag 715
- My Trick count the chips & place in a bowl then put the rest of the bag away
- 3 servings in the package
- 1 servings = 1 cup of broccoli
- Each serving is 25 calories
- Total calories in the package 75
- My Trick I divide my servings into 3 containers to bring to work
- Number of servings per package VARIES
- 1 serving of strawberries = 1/2 cup
- Strawberry calories per serving is 27
- 1 serving of blueberries = 1/4 cup
- Blueberry calories per serving is 21
- My Trick – use measuring cups to portion berries before serving
- Number of servings per box 9
- 1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked rice
- Calories per 1 serving is 150
- My Trick – use 1/2 measuring cup to portion rice on my plate
I know this seems daunting, but once you get the hang of it it’s actually easy. With some practice, you get skilled at visualizing portions & will be able to control how much you eat i.e. your calorie intake without thinking about it too much. Trust me!
Here’s a couple of visualization examples.
- 3 ounces of meat = size of your palm
- 1 tablespoon of dressing = size of your index finger
- 1 ounce of cheese = 4 dice
- 1 cup mashed potatoes = size of your fist
- 1 ounce nuts = one handful
- 1 teaspoon butter = tip of your thumb
Eating out at a restaurant? I ask for a to-go box when my meal arrives & cut my plate in half before I start eating. Eliminates the risk of over eating.
I really wish they taught us this stuff in grade school. Then we would be pre-wired to control our portions from childhood.
How are those 2014 resolutions going? I will be giving a few tips for staying on track. Stay tuned…