The nutrition facts panel on the foods you buy may say 100 calories per serving, but if you are eating more than one serving you could easily double or triple your calorie intake without realizing it. If you are not measuring your cereal, weighing your salmon fillet, or counting your chips, you are probably not eating the suggested serving size. All those uncounted calories could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts. Here’s how to make the numbers work for you!
1. Read Carefully and Eat Mindfully
Be careful when you are reading the nutrition facts to pay close attention to serving size. Often the serving size is much smaller than you realize. If you are counting calories, how much you eat makes a big difference. Always eat mindfully. Grabbing a bag of chips or cookies to munch on the couch, you may easily consume much more than you had intended. Instead measure out your food before you start eating.
2. Eyeball the Sizes
If you don’t have the time or tools to measure your food out exactly, train yourself how to eyeball your portion sizes with these easy references.
- veggies/fruit 1 cup = about the size of your closed fist or tennis ball
- grains/rice/pasta 1/3 cup = about the amount that fits in a cupcake wrapper or an ice cream scoop
- Yogurt 4 oz = about the size of a baseball
- Cheese 1 oz = about the size of a set of dice
- Baked potato 3 oz = about the size of a computer mouse
- Chips 1 oz = about the size that fits in a teacup
- Meat/Poultry 4 oz = about the size of a deck of cards or a bar of soap
- Fish 4 oz = about the size of a checkbook
3. The Perfect Plate
Start with a smaller plate so reduced portions do not look meager. You can trick your brain into thinking you are eating more so you don’t feel deprived. Fill up your plate with lots of fresh, healthy vegetables. It is almost impossible to eat too many non-starchy vegetables. These include leafy greens, cabbage, cucumber, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, asparagus, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower. Just be careful when preparing vegetables to limit any added fats, like butter and oil. Instead add flavor with garlic, onion, and spices. Then add lean protein and some complex carbohydrates to round out your meal.
4. Grab and Go
We know how important it is to measure your serving sizes when you are dieting. And that’s why the chocolate chip Hollywood Cookie Diet® comes in portion-controlled individually-wrapped servings. There’s no guesswork, no open containers to tempt you into taking more than you should, and no waste. You never have to measure or calculate anything. Just grab and go!