Monday, March 24, 2014

Too Much on Your Plate?

Happy Monday y’all! Hope you got out and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine! Over the weekend, my sister mentioned that a friend of hers asked about my diet. She automatically assumed, in order to stay in shape and on track with my fitness goals, I ate very little. That is FAR from the truth in fact, I eat A LOT of food but I weigh and measure it out so I know exactly what I am getting myself into. I use weight because it allows me to monitor the macronutrient ratio based on serving size.

But what is the difference between a portion and a serving you might ask? Or how do you know if you are eating too little or too much? In today’s society, serving sizes are double if not triple what they were 20 years ago and could feed 2-3 people versus just one. For example a blueberry muffin 20 years ago was about 1.5 ounce and contained 210 calories whereas today, it is about 5 ounces and has 500 calories! Or how about a cookie…back then it was about 1.5” in diameter and around 55 calories but today; it is 3.5” around and 275 calories, a difference of 220 calories! To clarify, a portion is the amount of food you choose to eat for a meal. It is your decision how large (or small) the potion will be. A serving on the other hand is a measured amount. For example, one slice of bread is a serving according to the nutrition label.

How do you monitor your servings? The best way (I think) is to weigh your food using a food scale. These can be purchased at most stores and range from $10-$50 depending on the type you choose. I use a digital scale that not only allows me to monitor the amount of food but I can also keep better track of my macronutrients for the day. The culprit to your weight loss success may not be solely due to what you are eating, but HOW MUCH you are eating. The serving size is listed on most food labels and can be used to keep track of your daily intake. However, when it comes to specific diets, such as for a marathon runner or a bodybuilder, they are highly individualized and will depend on your body weight and your goals to properly fuel your body. 

This image is a great visualization tool for serving sizes because it relates the serving size to an object that we are all familiar with. This will allow you to monitor how much is on your plate while on the go, dining out (or at home) and hopefully urge you to ask for a go box to take home the extra serving (s).  When in doubt, add extra veggies and cut down on the foods that are processed, fried, smothered, or high in fat. Remember too much of a good thing (in terms of food) can be TOO MUCH. J

If you haven’t noticed, I am all about delicious meals that are quick to make because let’s face it, who has all day to spend in the kitchen?!  I found this recipe online and cleaned it up a bit for a quick lunch idea. You can serve as a lettuce wrap or stuffed in a whole wheat pita would be pretty fantastic as well. 

Until tomorrow!


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