40-Somethings - Portion size shock

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07-30-2013, 10:06 PM
I am still coming to grips with eating normal size portions. They seem utterly tiny to me.

Obviously if I am posting in this age group I can remember when it was rare that families dined out. We ate at regular mealtimes and the only snack was the after school snack. Convenience foods were very rare in the pantry. If you look at movies filmed in the 60s and 70s, people are so thin. By my today eyes, everyone from that time looks like they have pipe cleaner arms and legs!! The "jocks" in the movies back then, which were supposed to be the bigger, buffer guys, would be relatively skinny men by today's standards. I don't recall that the food from back then was health-conscious per say; there was just much smaller portions of it. I'm pretty sure I drank mostly water and milk during childhood. I do not remember going through a drive-thru until I was in my early teens and it would be a rare, after swim meet lunch.

The convenience food and restaurant landscape changed pretty rapidly by the time I was in high school. And somewhere along the way, so did my perception of what was a normal size portion!

Obviously I am eating at a calorie deficit for the near future until I reach a healthy weight. After that, I have to eat at a maintenance level. I am uneasy that I won't be successful re-training myself to accept what is a normal portion of food : /

07-30-2013, 10:51 PM
I think about portion sizes a lot, too. I recently decided I should take breakfast regularly, and I've come to adore whole grain granola cereals. I know they are oh-so-high in calories, so I'm careful to use my smallest bowl which only holds 1/3 C, when heaping. Ha, today at work, I was so convinced that I'd had too much cereal this AM and had blown my daily calories, that I remeasured the bowl twice when I got home again...Like I might've OD'd on granola/crack!

Coincidentally, I happened to catch a Rachael Ray thing this AM while waiting for my DS. The topic was "correct" portions for different foods. Sad that we need such an education: http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/dr-ians-portion-distortion-guide/...

We don't eat out that much, but when we do, my kids have come to expect the doggie/take out boxes to appear before the meal. (And I've come to anticipate their usual argument over the proper name for the boxes.....we don't have a dog......boys!......) I love leftovers and can get 2/3 meals from a restaurant dinner. (Again with the upbringing....wasting food and all.....) Try spreading things out that way.

I rarely use a dinner plate for myself--a desert or salad plate is big enough--I've been doing that for years. And small tupperware for lunch at work--unless it's mostly green salad. We have my DH's grandmother's dinnerware from mid-last century. Small and dainty. We're using that more often.

So I've been mindful of portion size for ages, yet I still got myself into this predicament. For me, there's more to this battle than portions--timing of meals/snacks is probably my biggest hurdle. Again, when we were kids, there wasn't much after-dinner snacking and dinner was over by 6.

When you feel you have portions under control, don't forget about "seconds"!

We can do this!!!! Eyes over stomach!!!

07-31-2013, 09:01 AM
We don't eat out much anymore. I don't want to police what/how much my kids eat and drink, so if we eat at home most of the time, I don't have to worry about it. Plus, now that they are teens with adult sized appetites, it is so expensive to go out; I have to ask myself if its really worth $85 to go to a sit- down restaurant. So, when we do go out, it's much more of a treat to the boys.

As for portion sizes, yeah, I think it's hard to walk away from today's distortion levels. I try to eat mainly fresh vegetables and fruit, with any protein source being very tiny in addition to that. So I eat large volumes, but it's not high in calories. Everyone is different, but that seems to be what works for me.

07-31-2013, 01:00 PM
SeeMyFeet, that was a very interesting clip. It may be old news to think of everyday objects to use as a reference when eyeballing what is a normal portion, but I had never learned that before! I find that exceedingly helpful. Thank you! I also love the idea of using smaller size plates. Sometimes my dinner looks absolutely pitiful size wise on one of my huge dinner plates.

newleaf123, no kidding about the cost of eating out - it's ridiculous, lol. For a woman my age, I have young children, comparatively. They can still order off of the children's menu at restaurants. That said, when we do go out to eat, I try to pick a kids-eat-free or some other kids discount night. However, you've made me think... we have rarely gone out to eat since I have been hardcore dieting over the last few months. I hadn't even realized that, nor had I even planned it - it has just happened! I bet that habit change has helped me stay on track with dieting. I guess everything related to eating right and eating more healthily is naturally easier when you prepare meals at home. I am also hoping that my love of all things vegetables helps me out when I reach a decent weight and start maintaining. I really do love veggies and always have. I have never been a big meat/protein eater in life.

07-31-2013, 03:28 PM
The other thing I meant to comment on was your comment on the size of people in the 60s & 70s, so true! I recently came across a photo of my parents that I took when I was in college, so probably 1985ish. We *always* thought my father was fat when we were growing up, and to see the picture now, in today's world he would be thin! My mother feels so badly because she was always on his case for being fat, and she sees now how good he really looked.

07-31-2013, 05:25 PM
Also, plates are literally bigger. The Standard in 1960 was 9". Now it's 12".

08-01-2013, 01:37 AM
Magicsusan, I'm amazed I never thought about it before, but today's dinner plate size is really ginormous, you are so right! I just got home from work and had a bowl of cereal. One serving size per the box did not even reach halfway up the side of the bowl.

08-01-2013, 02:29 AM
I don't generally weigh my food or count calories- just try to eat healthy and responsibly and stop when I'm full, etc., but I did whip out the kitchen scale to have a look, as you say, at what 30g of Fit Flakes looks like, and other things as well, so I could make informed choices.

I still eat my cereal out of a big bowl, but I fill it with fruit first, then sprinkle the cereal on top.