How Food Portions Slip Out of Control

One of the contributors to obesity and over weight, is portion size. Measuring out food portions is incredibly important, especially from time to time for a ‘food check.’

I learned that lesson once more, just this morning. I heard recently that we should double the calories that we ‘think’ we are eating every day for an accurate count. I was stunned to hear it. I always felt I counted rather well, but this made me doubt.

So this morning I selected a small bowl from my fine china set (not my large, normal cereal bowl; compare the two sizes in this image), put what I felt to be a small amount of grape nuts in it (they are healthy, right? grape nuts?), a little no fat milk not rising above about 1/2 of the grape nuts so as not to flood them, and a few raisins.

My theory about using a fine china small bowl is that I can ‘ fool’ myself into being more satisfied after a meal, by allowing myself one refill, but in sum eating only the amount I should. I also try to eat dinner on a salad plate rather than a dinner plate, for the same purpose of portion control yet ultimate satisfaction (see image below right). Of course I know I am fooling myself, but it works for me and I’m a practical type: whatever works, use it!

Then I decided this morning to check the cereal box for information.

The fiber count was excellent: 7 gm per serving. The sugar count less excellent:  5 gm per serving. The calorie count was worse than I expected for grape nuts:  200, or 240 per portion size eaten with no fat milk.

Then I braved up to look at the portion size.

Big Oops — Portion size: 1/2 cup.

I was worried.

So I got out my 1/2 c. measure, poured in that amount of grape nuts and put it back into into my small china bowl, and lo!  The amount was actually a bit less than I had already poured in and consumed as “one bowl.” I was shocked.

In sum and sad to say, I have now eaten for breakfast alone, at least 600 calories. And I always thought I kept my daily calorie count at about 1500 (during slim-down diets I try to keep that count about 1000 to 1200 calories).

I  don’t like to count calories or be too martinet with my students about portion size, measurements, and calorie counts. Now I believe that to be a mistake, and will impose regular re-counts throughout three months of training, and at intervals of time for myself.

Not only recording every drop a student drinks and bites they eat, amount and what, will be required for the first two weeks of training (to bring consciousness to our eating habits), but I will now ask students to measure their single protions using a food calorie counter and a food scale.

I can no longer deny that not doing so for myself, is one way I let my food intake get out of control. What do you feel about calorie and portion counting?

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Filed under General Waist Training Information, Proper Nutrition Tips for Waist Training

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