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?