EXACTLY MEASURED


People blame weight gain on a lot of things; heredity, hormones, age, and metabolism, are just a few. However, for many people, eating too much food is really what's behind the extra junk in their trunk. It's important then that we pay particular attention not to just what we eat, but how much. When as little as 200 to 300 calories a day can impact your weight gain or loss you need to do more than eyeball your portions when dieting. It's estimated too that most people underestimate their food intake by 40%! So, while a lot of people dread the thought of measuring and weighing foods, it really is important.
My daughter the dietician shared that one of her colleagues had been working with a woman that despite all efforts just wasn’t losing weight. The dietician had the client keep a food diary and write down everything she ate for a week and the journal entries looked reasonable and healthy. Still unable to get to the bottom of the problem the dietician gave the client a gallon ziploc bag and told her to put into it any tastes, nibbles or bites she would normally have over a day’s time. She wouldn’t include her food from meals or a snacks but just what she would normally nibble at mindlessly and forget to add to her written eating journal.  A bit of cheese left on a child’s lunch plate, a couple of crackers when cleaning up the kitchen, a few tastes while preparing a sauce for dinner, a few chips before she rolled down the bag top. AT THE END OF THE DAY THE WOMAN HAD COMPLETELY FILLED THE ZIPLOC BAG.
While I’m sure none of us wants to cheat ourselves or our competitors it is really easy to kind of guess we got all of our water in, not count the half of hubby’s truffle he shared with us as “our sugar day”, tell ourselves that we are having a serving of crackers and then have just a couple more and a couple more and a couple more but still record just one serving.
Early on I recommended that you purchase the "EatSmart Precision Pro". It is super easy to use and stores in a small space. On Amazon.com there are over 2000 positive reviews.
Let's say you want to have some cheese and crackers. Your crackers are packaged so you know they are about 20 calories each and then you look at your cheese. Unless it is pre-portioned, you have to guess how much a one ounce portion will be.
So, you cut off a slice and hope that you got it right. Cheese is a fairly high calorie food as is red meat, bacon, and cooked pasta. How much did you really eat? If you have a scale, then you know the EXACT amount.
Besides measuring meats and cheeses I love it for portioning out other favorites. If I check and the portion size of my favorite Cape Cod Reduced Fat Potato Chips is 17 chips… but the chips in my bag are of varying sizes with some broken- it is easy to end up with a bit too many. But checking the portion weight makes it easy to get it exact. Personally I like to get out the scale and prepare several bags of my favorites and have them in the snack size ziplocs all ready to eat.
There are of course other tools to check your portion sizes:
Liquid measuring cup - A clear glass or plastic liquid measure is best for measuring soups, milk, juices, and other liquids.
Measuring cups - Use standard kitchen measuring cups to measure vegetables, chopped fruit, pasta, and cottage cheese.
Measuring spoons -  Measuring spoons aren't just for cooking and baking; use them to measure margarine, oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing, or peanut butter. I NEVER eat peanut butter without measuring it with a Tablespoon measuring spoon. I cannot be trusted with peanut butter!
Kitchen Scale - Once you begin using a kitchen scale, you'll wonder how you ever lived without one. well.
"If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health." – Hippocrates

For those of you without a kitchen scale these guidelines can be of help.


The look of normal portion sizes
   1 oz. meat = size of a matchbox 

   3 oz. meat = size of a deck of cards (the recommended portion for a meal) 

   8 oz. meat = size of a thin paperback book 

   1 medium potato = size of a computer mouse
   1 inch cube of cheese= 1 ounce
OUR CHALLENGE FOR THIS COMING WEEK IS TO WEIGH AND MEASURE AS MUCH OF OUR FOOD AS POSSIBLE (INCLUDING OUR DAILY WATER REQUIREMENTS). NO UNCOUNTED BITES OR NIBBLES- NO GUESSING HOW MANY CHIPS OR CRACKERS. FOR EVERY DAY YOU WEIGH OR MEASURE EVERYTHING YOU DRINK OR EAT YOU WILL EARN 5 BONUS POINTS

(Note: when eating out it is OK to believe their portion and calorie estimates as given on myfitnesspal or other websites) 

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