Hi, friends! Happy Thursday to you on the last day of the month! Wow. Where does the time go? Speaking of time, a while back, I wrote some posts for my friends over at the Wine Sisterhood, and they were kind enough to let me share a little bit of that content with you right here on A Lady Goes West. I hope you enjoy …
So you’re exercising and choosing healthy foods, but did you know there is something that could be sabotaging all of your efforts? Portion-control! (And this is one of those things that I know we all struggle with. #AmIRight?)
Occasionally, we eat and drink way more than we should without even knowing it. With restaurants serving huge dinner plates and food coming in large packages, how are you even supposed to know what’s the right amount to eat without being armed with a measuring cup at all times? It’s like the world is against us, when it comes to keeping our eats in check.
Well, I’ve got you covered, and believe it or not, you’re already armed with all the tools you need, no matter where you are …
Check your portions using your own hands
You can use your own hands to measure out your food and make sure you choose the right serving for you, even while dining out.
Here are some “handy” tips to keep your plate in check at each meal:
- For protein, like fish or meat – Use the palm of your hand, not including your fingers or thumb. This could also be equal to the size of a deck of cards.
- For starchy carbs, like potatoes and pasta – Make a fist with your hand. This could also equal the size of a tennis ball.
- For fruit and vegetables – Cup your hand with fingers rounded up. This handful is one serving of fruit. You should double that and eat two servings of vegetables. (I sometimes even go with three servings of veggies, depending on what I’ve got around.)
- For chips, popcorn and pretzels – Use two cupped handfuls.
- For fats like oils, mayo and butter – Use the tip of your thumb, from just above your first knuckle.
- For cheese, cream cheese and salad dressing – Use your whole thumb. This could also equal to the size of six dice.
- And if you’re a wine drinker: For wine – The standard serving for wine is five ounces. This one can be tricky to eyeball depending on the size of the glass, but think about the area of your hand between your thumb and forefinger when they are extended, or once again, use your fist. When pouring into a red wine glass, you should stop when the wine reaches the “bell” or the widest part of the glass. (And by the way, one 750ml bottle of wine will contain about five, five-ounce pours. So, if you like to enjoy a glass a night, know that one bottle should last you five nights.)
For food, it looks sort of like this …
This is a look at a recent dinner of mine. The veggies/fruits include asparagus and tomato, the healthy fat is an avocado, the starchy carb is a whole wheat bun, and the protein/meat is a grilled turkey burger.
Easy enough, right?
Other tips for healthy portion control
In addition to keeping track of your portions, here are a few other things you can do to make sure you’re not going overboard:
- Take your time. Slow down and eat mindfully, so you know when you’re actually full. Maybe you can ask your friend or significant other to tell you a great story, and try to not finish eating until he/she is done with it.
- Go halfsies. When dining out at a restaurant, ask your server to bring you half of the portion and immediately box the second portion up for leftovers so you aren’t tempted to eat it all at once. Or better yet, split an entrée with a friend.
- Think small. When eating at home, serve your meals on salad plates to keep your portions in check. It’s more visually pleasing to eat from a full plate, even if that plate is small.
- Close it up. Never eat straight out of a big package in your kitchen or on-the-go. Always pull out one serving and put the package away to avoid temptation. (Now this is the one, I have a super hard time with, because I mean, who can eat just one or two handfuls of trail mix? Not this lady.)
I’m a food lover and look forward to every single meal, so I’m never going to be religious about measuring every single thing I eat. However, I do believe that knowledge is power. And so is moderation. Don’t strive to restrict, strive to nourish. And now for my biggest healthy living advice of the day? Eat right (most of the time), move around a lot (but always get a rest day), and enjoy some treats on the regular.
Most of all, have a great last day in April, people. Today, I’m teaching several Orangetheory classes, as well as attending the studio’s big grand opening party tonight. I’ll see you back here to start the month of May off strong with some “Friday Favorites.”
Questions of the day
What type of food can you never have enough of?
Do you have any other portion-control tips?
How was your month of April?