Perhaps since the holidays are on their way, we should start learning the appropriate portion sizes for our body type and size rather than worry about what we should or should not eat. Afterall, a piece of pecan pie is certainly a well deserved holiday treat, but how big is your piece of pecan pie. Are you also having some of the pumkin pie and the cranberry apple pie setting next to it? Are we being reasonable at holiday parties? In the case of these desserts, You might want to consider one taste of each pie and then taking a small slice of you favorite.
There are several resource tools to help you know what a good portion size is for you. One is WebMD downloadable portion size cards at http://www.webmd.com/diet/printable/wallet-portion-control-size-guide. Another resource to look at is http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.
I have learned, for financial reasons, how to control portions in a restaurant.Given my goal is to get 2-4 meals out of every meal I purchase out, I go in with a plan. If I order the salad with grilled fish, I have them bring the fish wrapped to take home. If I order pasta I ask for half to be packed to go. If I go out for Mexican food I eat all of my sides and take the main course home. If it is a place with all you can eat soup or salad, my main course goes home.
Perhaps the take out box is a good idea for at home as well. Take your normal amount of food. “Then put half of it in a container for your next meal. If you are strong willed, just take half your normal portion in the first place. Eat slowly and see how you feel at the end. A glass of water or V8 juice is also good to have along with your meal. Break the large portion habit now so that you can go into the holiday season feeling confident that, this year, you are in control.
Portion control is one of the trickiest skills to master, yet one of the most important when it comes to
successful weight management. If we practice now, by the holidays we might do a better job of maintaining a healthy weight through the holidays. Here are some other ideas:
- Routinely, use a smaller dinner plate
- Do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry
- Add broccoli or cauliflower to your main meal to increase portion size but retain low calories
- Remember that there are a lot of free veggies steamed, raw and without sauce
- Do not routinely put bread on the table
- If you do put bread on the table, make it whole grain,
- Turn off the TV with meals
- Do the dishes playing and swaying to holiday music
- Listen to music throughout the day. You'll find yourself dancing instead of snacking
- Split snacks into reasonable portions when you bring them home from the store
- Stick to the portion size you created for your snacks
- Snack in-between meals. Very important so you maintain control during the meal
- Raw veggies are great snacks and are great fiber sources
- The fiber in fruit and veggies raise your metabolism... so eat them
Portion control is literally a lifestyle change and requires perseverance and tolerance and patience with yourself. Don’t give up and please, please, please, let me know if you draw the picture and it works. Free 15 minute phone wellness coaching consult
Be Well, Nancy Merrifield