Jenny mentioned needing to be more aware of portion sizes.

One kind of awesome thing about the restaurant scene in the US of A is that the amount of food we get at most restaurants is often amazing for the price.  We can get a giant cheeseburger AND a mound of fries for $10 at just about every major chain (non-fast food), and probably just slightly less (or sometimes even MORE) for around the same price at a Mom and Pop.

But, just because we can get those giant piles of food doesn't mean that we should eat them.

One of the biggest things I'm learning is the importance of paying attention to how much I eat.

Por exemplo.  I haven't eaten cereal for quite a while.  During the week, I eat breakfast at work - usually an English Muffin with almond butter and some kind of fruit, plus coffee and often a yogurt (as I pointed out in the comments in this post).  During the weekend?  Well, I like to sleep in and my lunch is usually my breakfast.  :)  Lynda hates that.  ha.
Back to the cereal.  This past weekend marks the first time in a long time that I've had a bowl of cereal.  My favorite kind is good 'ol Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds.  LOVE that stuff.  Now that I'm all about paying attention to the nutrition of the stuff I'm eating, I looked at the serving size.  3/4 of a cup.  Not bad!  Until I put that 3/4 of a cup into my bowl.  Sad face.  Seriously, I probably ate at least 1.5 cups of cereal previously.  YIKES.  DOUBLE.  So, that means I was eating 340 calories before I even added the milk.  Not so great.

If we Google "portion control," we get "About 14,000,000 results."  Ummm...I don't have that kind of free time.  If you do, please call me.  I want someone to paint the trim in my house, and it sounds like you have plenty of time to do it.  SO, like all good searchers, I just clicked on the first link.  For me, it was the Mayo Clinic's Guide to portion control for weight loss.  A sweet slideshow of a bunch of different facts about portion sizes.  A few down was the WebMD portion size plate.  It's actually kind of awesome.  You click on one of the links with a food type in it, and it gives you a visual of several different items within that food group.  For example, a burrito should be about the size of your checkbook.  Who knew?  And not one of those checkbooks like my Nana used to have - the oversided for-old-people-so-they're-gynormous ones.  A regular old who-even-has-one-anymore checkbook.  Double bonus for the wallet and fridge-sized printable portion guides.  Nice work, WebMD!

The great thing about portion control is that, eventually, you just get it and you don't need to measure and weigh and be incredibly fastidius about it.  I've found, though, that once I get to that point, I have to take stock every once and a while and make sure I'm not blowing up my sizes again - since it's so easy to do.

Do you guys have any other portion-control tips?  Are there some common items you use to compare your food to that WebMD and the Mayo didn't feature?  Do share!


  1. That's funny because I did the same thing with my cereal. I was like, "oh that should be enough" Nope, it wasn't! I kind of stopped recording all the calories I was taking in because it is was just too tedious and unbelievable. I'm still working out every morning and feeling myself getting a little tighter. Although one lady I work with, who is known to make these kind of comments to everyone, came up to me and was like, "Your stomach is really getting big." NO JOKE! I was livid! Right there, I stopped what I was doing and looked at her and said, "You know people don't want to hear that kind of thing. It's disrespectful and rude and offensive. And I hope you know I have been working on it and I have actually lost a half inch to an inch." That just shocked me! Luckily the next day she came to me and apologized and said she felt bad and looks at me like her one of her daughters, who she says stuff to all the time also. Funny, my mom would never say something like that to me or come up to me and rub my belly and ask if there was a baby in there (she did that last spring/summer to me). Her poor daughters! Anyway.... I definitely have to check out the portion stuff on WebMD. Thanks Bekah!

  2. Um, that's kind of awful. :( Who says that to someone?!? I feel bad for her girls - you KNOW they can't possibly have a good relationship with food and their weight if she honestly says stuff like that. I'm seriously shocked!

    And good for you!!!! Both on continuing to work out and on the inch lost. That's so awesome. I think the main thing to get out of recording everything is just to know how much you're putting in. I know for me it really helps me to see what exactly I'm eating, and to remember that there are so many foods that are CRAZY high in calories that I wouldn't have expected it from. I'll put a post up about the food pyramid - using one of the resources Lynda told us about in our class...