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Portion Control Equals Weight Control

8:14 AM, Apr 4, 2011   |    comments
You can use this visual guide when weighing or measuring your food is not possible.
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The following content is provided by Emily Hoffman, Clinical Dietician at Memorial Hospital.

Expanding Portions = Expanding waistlines!

Over the years, portion sizes in America have grown a lot! Twenty years ago a bagel was about 3" in diameter and contained about 140 calories, today the average bagel is 6" in diameter and contains about 250 calories.  At restaurants most of the time you are served enough food for two or even three meals. These bigger portions are giving us extra calories. Often weight gain is gradual, creeping up over the years until you are 60 pounds or more overweight and not sure how you got there. Think about this; just eating 100 calories extra in a day will cause you to gain 10 pounds in 1 year!

So what do we do about this? We shrink the portion sizes of the foods we eat so we can shrink our waistlines, using recommended portion sizes as a guide. Check the serving size on the food label, most of the time the serving size is the recommended portion size of the particular food.  A recommended portion size is not what you are served at a restaurant!  Especially at first, you will need to get a food scale, measuring cups and spoons to measure much you are really eating. My guess is that you eat more than you think you do.

For practice, pour yourself a bowl of cereal like you normally do, use a measuring cup to figure out exactly how much you would be eating; then compare it to the serving size. Do you normally eat more than the serving size?

There are also visual tools you can use to help when measuring and weighing your food is not possible.  Use the visual at the top of the page as a guide.

Portion control is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off for good.  When you sit down to a meal, keep your weight loss goals and watch your portion size!

Check out this website from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute for more info about portion sizes: http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/

This content was provided by Emily Hoffman, Clinical Dietician at Memorial Hospital.

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