Tip of the Day Tuesday
I’m going to let you in on a secret of mine–one of my ultimate lifesavers for when I am trying to lose a few pounds. Any guesses?
If you guessed a food scale–you are CORRECT!
One of the biggest issues we have in America is portion control. Restaurants give HUUUUGEEEE portions and we are often left to think that it’s normal to have a bunch of food on our plate at one time. And then, a lot of pre-packaged foods are sneaky and what seems like a single serving snack, ends up being two servings. I mean, who eats half of a big cookie?! I know I don’t!
This is where the food scale comes in handy. By simply measuring out 1 serving portions of your foods consistently for a little while, I bet you’ll notice a couple pounds sliding off. And, I bet you’ll be amazed at what a real portion actually looks like. When I first started measuring out my food, I was shocked at how small some portions truly were and how much I was overestimating! For example, in the picture is one serving of pasta. That’s it. ONE. SERVING.
Think about when you order a pasta dish at a restaurant how large it is! Or even how much spaghetti you put in your bowl when you make dinner. Using a food scale is truly an eye opener!
There is one big instance in which I do not recommend using a food scale: if you have or are overcoming an eating disorder. Here is why I do not recommend measuring out your food–it can become something to obsess over if you have an unhealthy relationship with food, because measuring is an act of being precise. So, before you go using a food scale and measuring out everything, please have a healthy relationship with food first.
I started measuring out food whenever I first began counting macros (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), as the “if it fits your macro” or IIFYM approach to eating can be a precise art at times (especially in the beginning). However, it has easily become a habit for me to now measure out almost anything that I am eating–not in an obsessive way, but more in a mindful way.
It takes some getting used to, but soon you will find that a single serving is often enough to keep you full. Here are some tips to help overcome the initial shock at your portions seeming “small:”
-Use smaller plates and bowls. This gives the illusion that your portion is larger–tricking your eyes, is often tricking your mind, and therefore your stomach.
-Drink a lot of water. It really is true that often times you are just thirsty, and not truly hungry.
-If you still feel hungry after eating one portion and drinking water, measure out another portion. This keeps your snacking still under control.
-If you are measuring out juice (yes, don’t forget to measure your liquids!), you can add some water to it to help it last longer, and seem like more.
Happy measuring! Let me know how it goes!