It Is All About The Portion Control
A key factor in helping you to lose weight permanently and/or maintain your weight all has to do with how much you eat throughout the day. Sounds simple right?
Not exactly. (However, it is not difficult either.)
Portion control helps with weight loss. We all know the principle of calories in and calories out. If our bodies only need 1500 calories a day, but we feed it 2300 calories, and don’t burn off the excess calories, then we end up gaining weight. This is exactly why portion control AND keeping a food diary is extremely important.
I am a realistic dietitian. I love to eat and I really enjoy sweets. I do not avoid certain foods in my diet because I think it is important to enjoy all foods. As you can see here, this was when I was in Cake Boss Bakery last month and of course I couldn’t resist trying a cupcake there.
As you can probably tell, I love cupcakes! Now, I had the choice of getting a cupcake that was about three times as big as this one, but I didn’t. I didn’t need a large cupcake to satisfy my sweet tooth. This smaller cupcake was a perfect portion for me and I enjoyed ever last sprinkle. I think one of the most difficult things in maintaining your weight is finding a balance. I don’t want to give up foods because they are “bad” for you. I want to eat them, but I have to eat them in moderation.
Therefore, to help control your portions, you need to realize how much you are actually eating. When you buy chips, yogurt, breakfast bars, or anything, it will have a nutrition label on it. Pay attention to the label. How much is a serving? How many servings are you going to have? I know it seems like an ordeal to actually measure out your food. However, if I eat goldfish and want a full serving, I measure out all 55 crackers so I know how many calories I am eating. If you want to maintain your weight or try and lose weight, then measuring out your food should not be a big deal. If you want something this bad, you will do it!
So, read those food labels. It is also important to be mindful of what you are drinking. Do you drinking juice in the morning, soda in the evening, wine/beer, etc.? All of those beverages have calories. Make sure you count those as well! You are only allowed so many calories a day and you should be aware of how many you are putting into your body. You should know exactly how many calories you have eaten throughout the day if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight.
How do you keep up with what you are eating? You can either do it two different ways. The first one is to write down everything that passes your lips. Not only do your write down the food or drink, but you write down how many portions you had and the calories of that portion. This is a great way to become more mindful and aware of what you are feeding yourself. The second way to do it is through apps such as My Fitness Pal. You can log in your food dairy as well as your exercise. It also has a great tool where you can scan barcodes and it gives you all the nutritional information. This app is extremely user friendly and easy to use. The only difficult part about keeping a food diary is that you actually have to log in your food yourself. Dedicate and commit yourself to your food journal. Losing weight shouldn’t be easy; you have to work at it every single day.
I have to share a story about my sisters. These are my sisters, Mandy and Kimberly. Both of them had average BMI’s and were in the healthy weight range. However, at the time neither one of them felt like they were at a healthy weight or liked the way clothes fit or how they felt. So, they made a change. A change to feel better about their bodies and themselves. They began tracking their diets through My Fitness Pal and both have lost weight and are now maintaining it. They still use My Fitness Pal every day. Mandy and Kim are keeping themselves accountable through their food diary and it helps them reach their health & fitness goals. It takes work to lose and maintain weight; however, it is all about making one change at a time.
Here are their before picture and then their after. You can definitely tell a difference!
This is your challenge: try and keep a food diary for the rest of this week. If you miss a day, or two, or even three, it is OKAY! Just get back to it and start again. I am sure you will be surprised at how many calories you actually eat throughout the day.