The first place to start is “Serving Size.” I know many of us have heard about using your fist or your palm and that is all well and good when it comes to meat. The serving size I want to discuss involves packaged food, any kind of packaged food. Let us start with breakfast. This is an easy one and it makes my point very clear. The serving size is on the nutrition label. And note that changes are forthcoming on these labels.
The FDA has all the information about these changes at Nutrition Labeling
But let us return to breakfast. Did you know your cereal bowl is a 2 plus serving size? Seriously! The serving size for Honey Nut Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats is ¾ cup. It is not even a cup of oats. For a while, it is imperative you pull out those measuring cups and see what a single serving size is. I had never realized I was eating so many servings of Cheerios until I did this. So now, I am thrilled my cheap set of dishes had all those extra ‘little’ bowls because I find it very challenging to only fill half a bowl with cereal. I can now have a full bowl of cereal that is only ¾ of cup and my bowl overflows, especially when I add blueberries. Okay, I admit, sometimes I add a bit of extra to use up the last of the milk. I would have done this with the big bowl too though. And note the milk adds to the calories although on the Nutrition Label, they are often using Skim milk which has the least caloric content.
I know. It is not a big difference to have another ¾ of a cup with a cup of say, 2% milk. Yet, over a week’s time you could be talking another 1,000 calories. And that is just breakfast.
The salad dressing at lunch. What is the serving size for that? 2 tablespoons if from a typical bottle and that equates to 80 – 120 calories. Those packets that come with the salads at restaurants – those are closer to 200 calories or more.
I am in no way saying any of these things are bad. I am trying to say pay attention and spend energy considering what you are going to eat. Spending time and energy on what you have to avoid is exhausting and absolutely no fun whatsoever.
You do have to eat. It is an absolute necessity to life on this planet. So again, I urge anyone who is trying to lose weight or not gain weight or just ‘eat healthy’ to begin with becoming mindful about what it is you are eating. It is the best way to make positive changes with regard to balanced nutrition become a part of your life without harboring resentful feelings from what you have denied yourself.