Monday, August 12, 2013

Portion Distortion: My Top 5 Recommendations to Fight the Urge to Super-Size

I admit it.  My portion size often exceeds the recommended serving size.  More calories than necessary, a metabolism that ratchets downward with each passing year and what have I got?  Girth creep.

My appetite exceeds my capacity to burn calories and my body rats me out.  While I am comfortable with my food choices, I am not pleased with my portion size.  I am constantly fighting my desire to trim down with my urge to eat up!

Sad news.  An average sedentary woman in my age group needs approximately 1600 calories/day  to maintain her weight, with a little bit of regular exercise, she can scarf up another 50 calories.  Here's the Mayo Clinic's calorie counter to help you determine your recommended calorie intake.  Not  a pretty picture.

We could all do with a few reminders of how to wrangle this nagging problem of portion distortion.

1.  Imagine your plate (no bigger than an 8" to 10" dinner plate) divided into 4 quadrants.  Generously fill two sections with veggies and fruit.  Fill one with protein and one with a higher fiber starch like sweet potato, quinoa, or brown rice.

2.  Eat your calories, don't drink them.  That whole orange, fiber and all, is more satisfying and less likely to spike blood sugar than that glass of fresh squeezed oj, even with all that yummy pulp!  Sparkling water with a slice of citrus fruit is more "festive" than a glass of water.  Even a glass of water is more appealing with a wedge of lemon. 

3.  Use your measuring cups.  Train your eye to recognize portion size.  Read the food label and measure out one portion.  Such a disappointment but so educational.  Try to buy single serving portions or apportion that large bag of nuts or snack foods into single serving bags.  Mindless munching = portion distortion and excess calories.

4.  Plan ahead.  Snacks should typically contain no more than 100 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates.

5.  Want a good "guesstimate" of portion serving size?  Let your hand be your guide.

[photo credit: <a href="">andrewrennie</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a> ]

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