So much of watching what you eat relies on the understanding or portion sizes. However most of us don't have a scale in our kitchen. Here are a few handy visuals to help you properly portion foods (these values are considered one serving):
Four Die = 1 oz. of cheese
Deck of cards = 3 oz. of poultry
Checkbook = 3 oz. filet of fish
Golf ball = 2 tbsp. of peanut butter
Half a Baseball = 1/2 cup of cooked rice
Handful = 1 oz. nuts
Be honest. Your portions are generally bigger than this right? I know mine are, especially when I'm not paying attention. Be mindful of your portions and know what you are eating.
We eat out A LOT so I've learned to navigate the mine field of over inflated portions and tricky "healthy" meals. Some of these tricks I learned from my recent NASM Weight Loss Specialist course (more on this later) and some I knew and have practicing for a while. Here is a list of strategies to use while dining out:
There are a few things I want to say about salads because they are dangerous! We order a salad and think its a healthy meal but many restaurant salads can be more calories than a loaded burger!! Here's how to ensure your salad is actually an healthy option:
Do I do all of these things all the time? H@$$ no! I get a taco shell and blue cheese every once in a while and I enjoy it. I just want to make sure no one falls into the trap of thinking you are choosing a healthy option just because its a salad. Be mindful of what you are eating and know you have choices.
The biggest thing that The Fast Metabolism diet did for me was bring awareness to my eating habits, both healthy and unhealthy. You too can find this awareness. Throughout the day, EVERY time you eat something (even if its 2 little cheddar bunnies from your 2 year olds snack bowl) recognize it, better yet write it down. Include whether it was a planned meal/snack, something you just grabbed quick because you were hungry, or mindless eating (see cheddar bunnies above). Be honest, this is just between you and you ;-) Try a food diary like this for a few days then look back at it and ask yourself a few questions:
Do you eat mostly carbs? Fats? Meat?
When did you seem to get the hungriest (afternoon or night)?
How soon after waking do you eat every day?
Do you usually eat on purpose, or do you find yourself mindless opening the refrigerator or sneaking bites of your kids snacks (those darn cheddar bunnies are so good)?
Do you wait until you are hangry (so hungry your angry) to eat something?
Use these questions and your diary to identify your habits, both healthy and unhealthy. Then commit to changing at least one thing. These are the changes I'm committing to:
Eat breakfast every day, within 30 minutes of waking, before coffee. This was my biggest offense before, I hardly ever ate a proper breakfast. It's amazing how much better I feel when I start the day off right. A good healthy breakfast kick starts your metabolism each day. My wonderful husband even treated me to a ninja for Mother's Day so I could make my smoothies and then eat on the go! I'll share some of my favorite smoothie recipes with you all soon.
Eat often, every 3 to 4 hours. My second biggest offense was waiting until I was Hangry (with a capital H because it got that bad) to eat. When that happened I couldn't think straight enough to make healthy choices. I went right for the quick empty carbs to help bring up my blood sugar. I make much better decisions before my blood sugar drops!
Be prepared. I'm keeping my fridge stocked with pre-cut raw veggies and low-glycemic fruits (slower sugar releasing fruits like blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and grapefruit). These are great snacks AND it helps with making better choice when the above mention Hangry sneaks back in. The trick with the veggies is having them all pre-cut. When I'm hungry I'm definitely not going to cut up celery and peppers but if it's already cut up I make sure it’s the first thing I grab. I make my own Greek yogurt based dip too. Yum!
These are all things I knew before, but didn't really commit to until I started with the food diary and brought awareness to my habits. Keeping a diary of food seemed silly to me before, but I'm so glad I did it.
**Many of these ideas were adapted from The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy. If you are interested in more information check out her website.
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