A lot of items try to deceive you with their packaging. Something that you may think is one serving usually gets broken into 2 or 3 or more! One of the most important things to remember is Check your Nutrition Label! I think the sneakiest thing manufactures do is tell you something is 100 calories a serving. You have a decent sized bag, but small enough you think it's only one serving. After downing the content, to your horror you find you just ate 3 servings worth of food, or 300 calories! My favorite thing to combat this is buy the 100 Calorie packs right off the bat. Make sure to check the label but things from Keebler, Nabisco, Pringles, etc, packaged in special 100 Calorie boxes with individual packs inside, are 100 calories a serving. Of course, if you eat more than 1 pack, then that's more calories.
You pick up the container of ice cream and look at the nutrition label. A half cup of ice cream is 130 calories. Instead of just guessing that a bowl full is half a cup, Get out that Measuring Cup and Measure! Sometimes the size of the serving you get may surprise you! I know for me, I find I get more than I think the size should be! After a while, when you are used to the sizes or when your not near a measuring cup and spoon, you can eye ball the size. It's good practice to still pull out the measuring cup every once in a while to doubt check your thinking! I know, your not always going to be around measuring cups at every meal. A few little tidbits to help remember sizes are:
- 1 Fist or 1 tennis ball = 1 cup or 1 medium fruit
- 1 Thumb from tip to 1st joint = 1 Tbsp
- 1 Finger from tip to 1st joint = 1 tsp
- 1 pack of cards = 3 oz of meat
When you go out to eat, the portions are completely out of whack. It's usually recommended that you eat 3-4 oz of meat a serving, but I defy you to find a steak on a menu smaller than 8 oz! Potatoes are bigger than what you would eat at home. Don't even get me started on desserts and appetizers. The sad truth is, you can end up eating your whole daily caloric intake in one sitting! That's why I recommend you Cut Restaurant Meals in Half! Go a step further and ask for the to go box right away and put half of your meal in that to take home for tomorrow! I even go as far and will cut foot long subs in half for lower points. Oh, and one quick tip, when out at restaurants, don't even touch the bread basket. One roll is easily 3-4 points, plus butter!
One last thing that I think is a great idea is Measure Out your Servings Ahead of Time! Say you make a big pot of soup. The point and calorie value on it are so perfect that you'd like to have it again in the near future. Why not, since you already have your measuring cup out for tonight, measure out individual servings for later. Even better, put them in freezer containers and freeze them for a later time! Doing this will save you a step later and insure you get the right amount then too!
These tips will definitely help keep your portions under control. The biggest thing that thwarts weight loss is over sized portions. It's important to not only watch what you eat, but how much of it you eat!