If you are truly determined to change your eating habits it is highly recommended to prepare all meals yourself. Cutting back on eating out is the best way for you to lose weight. Making your own portion sizes and preparing your own meals make a dramatic difference to your health.
Some people have a difficult time determining portion sizes. If you do enjoy visiting a restaurant or attend a lot of business dinners, keep it in moderation and choose the best options. Outrageous portion sizes served at restaurants are to blame for the misconception. People want to feel as if they are getting their moneys worth, there is no question where this confusion is coming from.
Our portion sizes have nearly doubled in size and physical activity is on a scary decline. There is no reason a 16 oz steak should be on a menu, but that’s not all it comes with. People like their steak, potatoes, and a vegetable. Preparation is also important! You may have your grilled steak but what’s on it? Steak rub filled with sodium and butter? Or a nice chimichurri made with all organic vegetables? Hopefully you choose the latter.
What did you choose as a side? People think they are making a better decision choosing the baked potato over the mashed, which if cooked at home may be the better decision, the best option, the sweet potato or brown rice with limited or no topping this will provide the most nutrients and be the most satisfying. And the vegetable? Make mine the steamed vegetables. Not the stir fry, sautéed or creamed. If you choose the chimichurri you may not even need a vegetable.
Now let’s go back to the steak, did you know that correct portion is just the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm? I also am willing to bet that your steak is not lean cut. And that potato, should be the size of your computer mouse. Those vegetables should be the size of your fist. Here is a list from WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, they have made portion sizing as easy as looking at your hand.
- Vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.
- Pasta is about the size of one scoop of ice cream.
- Meat, fish, or poultry is the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm (minus the fingers).
- Snacks such as pretzels and chips is about the size of a cupped handful.
- Apple is the size of a baseball.
- Potato is the size of a computer mouse.
- Bagel is the size of a hockey puck.
- Pancake is the size of a compact disc.
- Steamed rice is the size of a cupcake wrapper.
- Cheese is the size of a pair of dice or the size of your whole thumb (from the tip to the base).
To get in the habit of correct portion sizes, pull out the measuring cups. Just for one week, measure everything. Pour it into the bowl as you would normally then measure. See how far off you are from the serving size listed on the package. Now consume the correct amount. Doing this will not only make you aware of serving sizes but how much you are overeating and will make it easier to make smarter decisions later. Changing your eating habits can be easy by making those small choices and taking the time for one week to measure out the correct portion, later you will be able to “eyeball” the correct amount.
Look at this as a challenge. Good luck on your journey! Happy eating!