In the mood to make and see changes in your body, health, and overall life? Start by GETTING A CLUE about what you’re eating. Chances are, you’re eating way too much. When I started my fit life, I began by only changing my portion sizes and I didn’t even cut anything out in terms of the actual food I was eating. I instantly noticed changes. We live in an over indulging society that focuses on lots and lots of food, all the time. Join me by measuring your way to a fit life and being a rebel that says NO WAY JOSE to overeating!
Portion Control Tool Box
Read labels as much as possible! When I started reading labels at the grocery store, I was so surprised at the range of nutritional value, calories and taste that things have – for instance, the Greek Yogurt options available at my local grocery store will range from 110 calories to 160 calories, and as it turns out, I think the 110 calorie one tastes the best! Another great example is cheese – I’ve found that the portion size and corresponding calories for cheese available in the grocery stores is insane… just look at a variety of cheeses in the store and you’ll know what I’m talking about. ANOTHER great example, bread! ANOTHER, tortillas! The list is endless…do yourself a huge favor and put your reading glasses on next time you go grocery shopping!
Measure for pleasure baby, oh yah! I am always prepared – I have a set of measuring cups (stack-able so they don’t take up hardly any space) in my desk at work, another one at home, and a food scale at home (GO BUY ONE! They’re available most places for under $20…you don’t need anything fancy – just do it). While I used to spoon or pour my food out of the box/bag/etc, now I just scoop it out with my measuring cup(s)… when I get harassed about why I measure my food, I simply respond “because I like to know how much I’m eating” and 100% of the time it has ended there. For things like meats, vegetables, and other ingredients that don’t “scoop” as well or are portioned by ounces, etc…, I use my food scale. The best food scale tip I can give you is to measure in what you’re eating out of!!! This way, you get a visual idea of how much space the correct portion size takes up in your dishes. Also, food scales can be re-set to zero, meaning that you can put you bowl/plate on the scale, press “on/re-set” again and it’ll go to zero allowing you to just get the weight of the food you put inside – AMAZING!
Don’t be a deer in the headlights when you don’t have your measuring tools! Eating out? Immediately cut everything on your plate in half and box up one of the halves. Restaurants almost always give you 2-4 times the amount you should be eating in one sitting (I say this because I’ve measured and that’s what I’ve found…but no, I don’t have any actual research data to provide). Again, being harassed by people wondering why you’d do such a thing? Just explain that your food looks so good that you want to make sure you can enjoy some again later! Just for kicks, here’s some alternative measuring guides in case you’re in a bind:
1 – broccoli or cauliflower or a mixed bag of both
2 – fully cooked steamed lentils from Trader Joe’s (along the meat and refrigerated veggies wall)
3 – a packet of sharp cheddar cheese slices
(4 – I added avocado in this picture because I had some on hand)
Step 2 – Scoop out 1/2 cup lentils (for the lentils I buy that’s 1 serving which equals 120 calories) and microwave for about 1 minute
Step 3 – Put your hot and steamy veggies into a bowl, place a delicious slice of sharp cheddar on top then your ready to go lentils on top of that – this way, the cheese melts perfectly in the middle! (the cheese I have right now is 80 calories a slice which is crazy awesome compared to the usual 110+ a slice; when I found it I did a little dance in the aisle and gave myself a pat on the back for comparing labels)
Step 4 – ENJOY! Or, for you manly men and people who need a bit more than that, add some little extras – maybe some avocado, chicken, tofu, black beans, more veggies – use your imagination and eat up!