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!