Are Your Portions Killing Your Weight Loss Efforts?

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Have you ever looked at your diet and decided to make a change, only to find that it’s making no difference? I’m afraid that the problem might not just be what you’re choosing to put into your body, but just how much you’re eating.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand the optimum portions of particular foods is to relate to something else. For instance, if you love meat- your portion shouldn’t be any bigger than the palm of your hand.

While carbs like pastas shouldn’t be larger than your clenched fist.

You want to get your butter serving right? Fingertip sized. Cheese? Less than two fingers.

Over the last twenty years’ portion sizes has more than doubled. Now, think about the pasta portion we mentioned above. Now imagine your pasta portion. Most people are eating up to five times to the recommended serving size of pasta.

If you’re guilty of piling your plate high, then it’s time to reassess your diet.

The hand diet has become popular, but you don’t have to follow it to be able to control your portions. According to Harvard Health Publications, one of the biggest reasons people are overweight is because of portion control.

You might be surprised to realize just how little of certain foods that we should actually be eating. Unfortunately, with the mentality that has been instilled in the majority of us that we must clear our plate, combined with the increase in portions we’ve been set up to fail. According to Psychology Today, this mentality stems from our hatred of waste.

What normal portion sizes look like:

  • The recommended meat portion for a meal is three ounces, which is around the size of a bar of soap or a deck of cards. An ounce of meat is the size of a box of matches. An 8-ounce portion of meat is around the size of a paperback book.
  • An ounce of cheese is simply the size of 4 dice.
  • If you’re looking for a medium potato, you’re looking for a computer mouse.
  • Three ounces of fish is the size of a checkbook.
  • A half cup of pasta is just the size of a tennis ball.
  • A ping pong ball is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
  • The average bagel can be compared to a hockey puck.

Researchers from New York University Department of Nutrition and Food Studies were looking into portion sizes a decade ago. They discovered that muffins were weighing in at three times the standard portion, and cookies were 7 times the standard.

Consider these portions and how that can make a massive difference to your waistline.

You dip your knife into the butter to spread it over your toast. A thin layer is around 37 calories, but you dip in again for a generous portion to ensure you have an even layer into each corner… that increases your calories by as much as 3 times!

When you opt for a healthy salad for lunch or dinner, you blow it with your dressing. While a teaspoon of oil is just 45 calories, a tablespoon takes you up to 135. If you were to have that salad and tablespoon of oil on a daily basis, that’s an extra 14 pounds of weight gain in a year.

If you can’t live without adding sugar to your coffee, consider how much weight you can lose just by switching to a sweetener. If you go for two spoons in every cup and you have three cups a day- by dropping it, you cut out almost 40,000 calories over the year. That is a weight loss of 11 pounds.

To put on one pound of weight it takes just 3,500 additional calories. Our portion sizes are the reason that we’re gaining extra weight without understanding why.

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