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How did you learn portion control?

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Old 05-26-2010, 11:55 PM   #1
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Question How did you learn portion control?

Hi everyone!!

I was just wondering if anyone has a good way of learning portion control? I bought a food scale and it has helped me a lot, but I have a long way to go! I had just started a 1600 cal diet, but found out I was pregnant, and my OB has moved me to a 2100 cal diet. I know from my scale that my idea of the "right size" portion was all wrong, and restaurant sizes seem to be just enormous. Any tips and stories are very much appreciated!! Best wishes you you all!!!!
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:23 AM   #2
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For me the food scale help me a lot.. Before I would less because I always preferred to over estimate.
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Old 05-27-2010, 05:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
How did you learn portion control?
Plain and simple - Calorie counting. For me, it could be nothing else. I've got a calorie budget that I adhere to - IT tells me how much I should be eating. Each meal has a pre-determined amount of calories in it. I take that much food on my plate and that's that. I break down my breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks to equal that of my calorie budget.

Your 2100 calorie diet may look something like this:

Breakfast - 400 calories
Lunch - 500 calories
Dinner - 600 calories
Snacks - either 3 of them at 200 calories each or some other way that you prefer to divide them up.

For me, calorie counting is automatic, built in accountability and portion control.

The great thing is, that you will eventually find a few breakfasts that add up to 400 calories, several lunches that will add up to 500 calories, a bunch of different dinners that add up to 600 calories and multiple snacks that add up to 200 calories - or whatever your breakdown turns out to be. When you get that down pat, you will just interchange them, switch them around and all the counting will have already been done for you.
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Old 05-27-2010, 07:37 AM   #4
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My mom taught me the "serving size as big as your palm". It helps me because I'm not always someplace where I can look at the calories of something or weigh it... but I know that ONE serving of something that could be 400 calories is better than accidentally two servings of the same.

It might not be the most accurate way of doing something... but it has helped me keep my portions smaller... because I do have a tendancy to eat way more than I need to.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:13 AM   #5
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With the lighter calorie fare - lettuce-y salads, lower calorie veggies such as spinach, cauliflower and mushrooms - weight/measurement accuracy is not AS important. If you're off by a thjird cup, well big deal, what is that like 25 calories or something, no big deal.

But on the calorie dense food, being wrong on your measurements and weights can really put a damper on your weight loss efforts. So with that stuff it really pays to try your best to be as accurate as possible and if I'm eating food that I haven't cooked - restaurant, social setting, work place, etc., I always hold to the rule - "when in doubt, do without".
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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I've only just started, but I also find a good kitchen scale and calorie counting to be extremely helpful for portion control. I also sometimes just weigh how much I would be using "intuitively" and then check how much calorie it is - that will hopefully help me to find a way of cooking where I don't have to weigh everything all the time.

I used to be very scared of weighing my food and calorie counting - I always thought I'd end up with so few morsels of food that it would never fill me up... but when I cook something healthy with plenty of vegetables, I actually even often find I can't finish the portion my calorie allotment told me I could have.

Eating out - well, I live in Europe and after reading lots of threads on this forum I believe our restaurant portions are smaller anyway - I just make a healthy choice and then enjoy my food. I didn't get fat because I ate at a restaurant once a fortnight.

But of course if you are easily dragged off course by having a nice, non-calorie-counted dinner once in a while, you should follow rockinrobin's advice and avoid it completely.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:40 AM   #7
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Calorie counting helped me learn portion control

I also read labels before I purchase food at the grocery store. I look at the calories, serving size, sugar, dietary fiber, protein, fat (saturated), and the whole package. A 330 calories ice cream bar is not going to fill me up nor is it a great way to spend my 1200 calories for the day
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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I use measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a scale, depending on the food. You just have to get used to doing it. After awhile you'll be better able to estimate, but at first the best way to go is to measure everything in some way. That way you get practiced at it.

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Old 05-27-2010, 09:49 AM   #9
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I have laminated cards that helped me with portion control. (Made them myself) - I took a single card from a regular deck of cards (the Queen of Hearts, if it matters!) which represents a piece of meat (chicken breast, pork chop, steak, whatever) and a picture of a couple of dice for a single serving of cheese, a hockey puck for a "handful" of nuts, etc. After a while I learned to eyeball it pretty good.

HOWEVER - my problem is that I WANT MORE FOOD! - So even tho I know what "a serving size is"... I often would get more anyway. So portion control to me, is easy. But it's like Nike. I have to JUST DO IT.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:09 AM   #10
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The thing that has helped me other than the scale, was to buy a divided dinner plate. Corelle makes nice divided plates that are not embarrassing to use like a child's plate or something LOL. You can buy them at wal-mart in the individual dish section. I fill the largest section with vegetables that are not starchy and the two smaller sections are for a starch and 4 oz meat. Palm sized servings fit perfectly in these sections.
Congrats on the pregnancy!
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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Like so many others I learned it through calorie counting and weighing foods. It is also is -really- important to read the nutritional info for restaurants since they seem to sneak a lot of fat and sugar into their food. To be really successful I started cooking for myself more. It is so easy to get proper calorie counts when you are cooking for yourself and difficult to get suitable, satisfying meals from restaurants or even diet frozen meals.

I still eat a good volume of food (though not as much), by eating a lot of vegetables and fruits and moderate amounts of lean protein, low fat dairy, and whole wheat carbs. The more you calorie count the better sense you get for how much you should be eating and what foods you need to watch more.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:06 AM   #12
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Salad plates for dinner plates and even childrens plates/bowls. You can often find smaller plates, bowls. The only thing I use a big bowl for is when I make a large salad.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #13
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Practice, practice, practice. I've weighed and measured things for so long that I can now eyeball like you wouldn't believe. DH is always shocked that I can eyeball a portion size of meat- weigh it, and find out I was right. Almost every single time. It gives me a lot more confidence when eating away from hme. But, the (food) scale and measuring cups will be your best friend.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetnlow28 View Post
The thing that has helped me other than the scale, was to buy a divided dinner plate. Corelle makes nice divided plates that are not embarrassing to use like a child's plate or something LOL. You can buy them at wal-mart in the individual dish section. I fill the largest section with vegetables that are not starchy and the two smaller sections are for a starch and 4 oz meat. Palm sized servings fit perfectly in these sections.
Congrats on the pregnancy!
I found those dishes too and LOVE them! Mostly because I hate for my food to touch LOL but it works for portion control too
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #15
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I found that my body has started to teach me how to make sure I eat sensible portions. In the bginning it was very hard to monitor my portion sizes, especially if I was at a party or out with friends etc. But after weeks and weeks of making sure my portions were small eventually my stomach begin to shrink and now I fill up more quickly than I used to, which means I consume much less food then I did before.

But to start off, I changed plate bowl sizes, I measured, weighed and did pretty much every thing I could do to make sure I was eating the correct portions for me. I concsiously eat slower, so I fill up more quickly and I drink plenty of water to help me from feeling hungry so I don't overeat.
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