The best and most successful way to maintain or lose weight is through portion control with scale measurements. Portion control is simply being aware of what calories are in each serving and limiting how much food you are eating. The key to learning portion control is learning the correct serving size, which is on food labels.
Easy Guide to Portion Size
Many times, it is not what we eat that is sabotaging our weight loss efforts, but how much we eat. Make yourself aware of what constitutes a proper portion size with the following guide. Print it out and carry it with you until you get use to this new way of eating.
- One serving of red meat, pork, chicken or fish = about the size of a cassette tape.
- One serving of fruit, vegetables, pasta or rice = about the size of a child’s fist.
- One serving of cheese = about the size of a lighter.
- One serving of milk, yogurt, or chopped fresh greens = about the size of a baseball.
- One serving of cereal = about the size of a tennis ball.
- One serving of salad dressing = a small shot glass.
- One serving of nuts = the size of a palm.
- One serving of peanut butter = the size of one dice.
- One serving of potato = about the size of a cell phone.
- One serving of butter = a Checkers piece
Food Pyramid Guide from the National USDA Gov. Website
Now that you know how much to eat, the Food Pyramid is the best way to learn what amounts of each food to eat (to ensure you get the daily nutritional requirements each day). Use Fitdays online journal to track the foods you eat. The following Food Pyramid guide, taken from the nal.usda.gov website will help you learn:
- Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta: 6 to 11 servings per day.
- One serving = 1 slice of bread; 1/2 bagel; 1 oz. dry cereal; 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
- Green leafy vegetables: 3 to 5 servings per day.
- One serving = 1 cup raw leafy greens, ½ cup chopped vegetable, 3/4 cup vegetable juice.
- Fruits: 2-4 servings a day
- One serving = one medium apple, banana, or orange; 1/2 cup fruit; 3/4 cup fruit juice.
- Milk, Yogurt and Cheese: 2-4 servings per day
- One serving = 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1 oz natural cheese, 2 oz processed cheese.
- Meat, Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs and Nuts: 2 to 3 servings per day
- One serving = 3 oz cooked lean meat, poultry or fish; 1 egg; 1/2 cup cooked beans; 2 tablespoons peanut butter, nuts or seeds.
The above tools are what you need to gain control over the amount of food you eat. The main thing is to stay educated and learn to listen to your body. Eat only when hungry, not just because of the hour of the day (or because everyone else is eating). Drink plenty of calorie free water to stay hydrated, and use smaller plates to trick your mind into thinking you are eating more than you really are.
Use a portion control plate, and slow down when eating so you stomach has time to let you know when it is full. By taking small steps and taking notice of portion control, you will start to achieve weight loss success.