But Food Is Delicious: A Real Life Q&A
Today’s question is about portions - and how pesky, annoying, and unfair they are.
I’m kind of only half-way kidding.
After all, there always seems to be a vast disparity between my idea of a portion….and the manufacturer’s idea (Sad trombone).
A member of my Healthy Habits Coaching Club raised this issue recently (in our private Facebook group for the club) , and you can read her question - and my response - below.
Real Life Q&A From The HHCC.
“My favorite excuse for over-eating is ‘Food is delicious.’ Can we talk about portion sizes for a minute? Is there a guideline we should all be following?”
And here’s how I answered:
Food is most definitely delicious. All the more reason to know what’s what, so that you can be sure to savor the deliciousness, and make room for the foods that are worth it to you.
Here’s why portion-knowledge matters so much:
FOR THE MOST PART, if you are either gaining weight or not losing weight, IT’S YOUR FOOD INTAKE that is the culprit.
Plain and simple.
Barring any medically diagnosed condition or medication that results in weight gain, you can begin to see progress almost immediately if you will make adjustments to both the quality and the quantity of the food you eat.
Portions, portions, portions, my friends. I am 100% guilty of having a free hand with the peanut-butter, under-guesstimating the pasta, and over-pouring the wine. I know how easy it is to incorrectly ‘eyeball’ a serving size.
Unfortunately, it all adds up!! Sometimes to the tune of a few hundred extra calories per day! Do that every day and you will not achieve results at all.
I say this not to inspire you to become obsessive measurers (!) - but, rather, to invite you to take an honest look at serving sizes and portions. Re-calibrate your sensors. There is always a reason why the weight isn’t coming off - and it’s usually food-related.
With packaged foods (chips, pasta, cookies, hummus, etc) - anything with a label - it will tell you what constitutes a ‘serving’. For example, a serving of hummus is usually 2 TBS and, depending on the brand, that can have anywhere between 30-80 calories. Check the label and see for yourself.
A serving of pasta is generally 2oz - which is not very much (I can eat that in about 4-5 bites) - and, depending on the pasta, that’s anywhere from 180-210 calories right there, before you even add any sauce or fun stuff (!).
The same is true with healthy things like beans, or quinoa, or brown rice. A serving is usually listed as about 1/2 cup (soooo very not that much!) and the calories start to add up.
Serving sizes can be a big bummer - but it’s really important to have a working knowledge of how they play out (particularly for foods you like to enjoy every day) so that you are awake and aware to how much you’re really eating.
If you haven’t ever done this before, I encourage you to start looking at the labels of things and seeing what the manufacturer considers a ‘serving’. It’s usually so much less than what I would prefer to consider a serving. ;)
As always, when in doubt, you can’t go wrong by loading up on fiber-and-nutrient rich leafy greens, fruits and vegetables - and using grains, legumes, fats, and animal-based proteins (if you eat them) as sides or condiments.