As I picked up the Baltimore Sun this morning to typically file it away in recycling, I noticed the headline, "What's your Portion IQ" by Kitty Broihier screaming out the top. As I delve into the material, I realize that there could have been a little more work and detail put into it, but then again it is the front page of TASTE w/ also recipes for "Breakfast Treats" of homemade doughnuts at 291 calories PER DOUGHNUT, and sweet potato biscuts sharing the page with it (no calorie content listed but the ingredients weren't particularly awful).
Clearly, most of us struggle with the part of having a "firm control of how much we eat." I know that sometimes I do as well if i'm not measuring or weighing my food. I think that I know the correct size based on the "serving size suggestion," but sometimes even that can be misleading because you have to INTERPRET what is the best size for YOU. The article claims, "portion control yields more weight loss than changing the foods you eat or exercising more (though doing those plus paying attention to portions is best of all)." But is this true? You need to consume less calories on days that you do not exercise because if you eat more you will simply have an abundance of excess calories turning into fat. Yeah? So, obviously if you're consuming everything you normally eat but cutting the portion, this MAY NOT be enough. Many of us do need to change some of the things that we eat AND drink. One of the things that my nutritionist told me, and I also have heard time and time again (I actually just heard it on the radio yesterday--95.1 SHINE FM Broadcasted that if you drink 1 (yes, ONE!) soda a day you can gain 15 lbs. a YEAR!) is that most of the things you drink are typically wasted calories. YES, SODA! Chewing often provides your brain with the idea of satisfaction. Now, believe me, as I type this know that I certainly enjoy a smoothie and chocolate milk sometimes, but I know that I will definitely feel more satisified if I actually eat something.
One of the ideas presented is to simply order an appetizer as an entree plus a salad or soup. However, depending on the choice the calories could easily bulk up to a similar calorie content of an entree. I know that Outback (my husband's favorite place--ERGSH!) has some of the worst, and highest calorie appetizers in the restaurant business! So, yes these decisions can easily impact your calorie intake allowing further weight gain..... My typical procedure for eating out is to simply cut everything in half once it arrives and get the waiter/waitress to wrap it up in a to-go box for a second (or sometimes a third!) meal. It works every time and I feel full and satisified w/ the halved items. :)
Also, if you're eating at home, simply choose a smaller plate or bowl. Fill your plate with more vegetables so that you will fill up on those more so than too many carbs. Just little changes can make the BIG impact!
One intriguing piece of information provided is regarding movie theater popcorn. Apparently, "twenty years ago the average serving size of popcorn was five cups" with about 270 calories. Today, we can easily exceed 1,500 calories with the giant containers (sometimes maxing out at 16 cups, 16 CUPS OF POPCORN!!!!!!). Add on that additional butter, and you've basically consumed your calories for the ENTIRE day. And, you're mindlessly eating during the entire movie. Do you think you could count how many times you dig into the container until you're hitting the bottom???
These are just some things to think about with regard to portion control. Maybe you can check out the article and tell me what you think as well.
Have a great day, and think before you eat!!!! :)