I am pretty dumb when it comes to this stuff. I have read every magazine and article on weight loss and living healthy. The problem is I don't practice it... I guess. The good I have done: No soft drinks, no sweets, more veggies, more veggies more often, water all the time, exercising more now, etc. The bad: My portion sizes. I always thought that portion sizes could be a little more oversized if it was protein. Just watch portion sizes with the carbs like bread and pasta. Last night, I had 10 ounces of teriyaki grilled chicken, and a sweet potato, and some broccoli.
This is my absolute last step: I have to control my portion sizes.
How important are portion sizes to you all? What are some pointers in getting used to portion sizes? Any other advice would be great.
How can you possibly track your calories if you don't track your portion size? A food scale and measuring cup should be close at hand in your kitchin. There are various tricks to track portions away from home (like bringing home half your food from the restaurant). 4 oz of meat is similar in size to a deck of cards, etc.
47 M 5'8"
May 4, 2010...... 440? lbs. (Start FitDay Size 60 Jeans)
June 19, 2010.... 393 lbs. (First Weigh-in)
June 19, 2011.... 229 lbs. (164 lbs. gone in one year :-)
Current Weight... 185 lbs. (Size 36 Jeans)
Next Goal 169 lbs. (07/04/12)
Ultimate Goal 165 lbs. (12/31/12)
The best exercises for weight loss are Fork Putdowns and Table Pushaways.
Apart from the obvious point of measuring everything, and measuring accurately, there are two things that occur to me. Start cutting down your portion sizes gradually. Noting down how much you're eating can often help with this, as it makes you more conscious and less likely to gobble down more without thinking about it. Secondly, think about how full different foods make you feel. There are some foods where I will push away my plate after a modest amount, and there are some foods which I could keep on eating until I burst. There may not be any particular rule to this, it can be quite random, or sometimes there are patterns you can spot. I have decided not to go anywhere near tortilla chips or biscuits, for instance, as I am incapable of only eating one or two at a time.
Nah, I know about portion sizes. I just don't usually follow them. That is my downfall especially when it comes to meat. I measure out my breakfast, lunch, and even some supper things. But for me, it is like a free for all when it comes to meat.
IMO the best way to handle portion size is to use a small plate and eat until you are not hungry... a big difference than eating until you are full. The small plate has helped me a ton... as long as you don't stack your food up to compensate.
When I was growing up we were taught that we didn't leave the dinner table until our plate was "cleaned". The bigger the plate of food... the more you'll end up eating.
You've actually come quite a long way in making dietary changes, it sounds. Don't lose heart! So why do you think you don't follow the portion sizes in this respect? Hunger? If so, real hunger or the way we generally train ourselves to eat when we don't really need to (e.g. boredom)? Feeling deprived? Really really liking certain foods? It sounds a bit as if you've saved up meat as your "luxury" food, the one you're allowed to have as much as you like of, and deep inside you, you're resenting the idea of limiting that too. It's a bit like the phenomenon many people, especially women get, of "I'm willing to diet but I MUST HAVE CHOCOLATE IN SOME FORM." (My own solution is to keep a bar of chocolate so dark that I only want a tiny bit in the cupboard, and have a herbal tea which is make with cocoa shells and various spices. And NOT to make up chocolate hazelnut spread, I don't seem to be capable of eating suitably small quantities of it.)
Something else to think about is your natural hunger patterns, which may well be related to when you are naturally most energetic and so forth. I'm an evening person, I get more alert as the day goes on, and unsurprisingly, I get hungrier as the day goes on. I eat breakfast, but I make it a small breakfast. If I were to follow the idea that breakfast should be the biggest meal of the day, I'd be making my breakfasts bigger but I'd still be just as hungry later on, so I'd end up eating more overall. So for me, the best compromise is making sure I get a decently nutritious if modestly-sized breakfast (currently going for porridge when I can, it's great stuff), not eating too late in the evening (7.30 as opposed to 9 or worse), and generally sticking like glue to regular mealtimes so that my body knows when it should get hungry. Someone who is naturally less hungry in the evening and uses most energy in the morning, on the other hand, which I'm theorising is most likely to be a morning person but I am guessing here, is better off having a big substantial breakfast and eating more lightly in the evening.
If, say, you are naturally hungrier later in the day, but you've been assigning more of your calories to earlier, then I wouldn't be at all surprised if you get to supper, look at the small amount you're meant to be eating, and are absolutely ravenous. If that's the case, try reshuffling your meal sizes. If you do that and you are still genuinely and hugely hungry (and you haven't mentioned whether this is the case or whether you're eating huge portions of meat for other reasons), consider whether you're on enough calories to begin with, look at how satisfying your meals are, your carb/protein/fat ratio, when you eat meals which are heavier in carbs and when you eat meals which are heavier in protein, that sort of thing. For instance, if right now your big meat meal is supper, what happens if you switch it to lunch and eat something for supper where you don't have trouble stopping once you've eaten the right amount?
Portion sizes are key. Because they are basically calories! Only on a diet like WW, that allows you 'free' foods like most vegetables and fruits, can you ignore those portion sizes - and that's because those things are so relatively low in calories. You'd think meat, which has the same number of calories per gram as carbs (fruits and vegetables contain carbs) would be treated the same way - but meat can't be 'free' because it contains so much fat, usually. Hence, the focus on lean meats.
Also, all those 'free' vegetables and fruits are eaten without fats. The average dishes (think a salad, for example) have fat (oils or butter) added. You have to count everything. That's what the food log is all about! You put the food in the log but you have to measure it and it has to represent what you ate. Otherwise, it's kind of useless to even try to guess how many calories you've eaten.
I, like you, like large portions and I love meat, but most meat is fairly high in calories so what I do is I limit myself to 4 ounces of meat, 4 ounces of starch and then I fill my plate with vegetables, which are very low in calories.
I do what DancinBear does: smaller portions when it comes to meat and starches, and then (for me) a total free for all on the veggies, but I keep those fat free. I'll eat a whole bag of steamed spinach or broccoli and cauliflower or asparagus at suppertime. The meat becomes more like a side dish than a main course. Focus on the veggies. Also, I tend to cut up meat into smaller bits and sort of garnish the veggies with it. You still get the taste and texture of the meat, but not the huge calorie and fat load.
I've been doing a lot of psychology reading lately, and one thing that comes up every now and then is the effect of perception on biology. Try using a smaller plate/bowl/dish. If you fill a small plate up completely and then eat, you'll feel fuller once you finish than if you fill a large plate 3/4 full, even if the large plate has more food on it. Ain't the brain amazing?
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.
Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).