Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Half Portions

No doubt, over the years, portion sizes have grown tremendously. For example:

* hamburgers expanded by 23%
* a plate of Mexican food got 27% bigger
* soft drinks increased by 52%
* snacks (potato chips, pretzels, crackers) grew 60%

We don’t always realize this, and sometimes, companies are kind enough to remind us (thank you, Kettle Brand’s “sharing size”).

In addition to a Workout Tracker, another tactic I used in last year’s ECG was the half-portion when eating out. No matter where I was, and unless I ordered something small like an appetizer as my main dish, I cut my meal in half and packed it up or shared it. I know it might seem like a waste when you spend money to go out and not eat all of it, but in the long-run, it really pays off. I actually never felt hungry when I was done. And because I’m an infamously fast eater (a terrible habit), it forced me to slow down and savor what I did have. I confess, since ECG V ended, so has this particular habit, but it’s one I’m ready to embrace again with ECG VI.

While at home, my measuring cups and spoons are always on hand for things like cereal (1 cup), salad dressing (2 tbs), trail mix (1/4 cup), rice (1/4 cup) and dinner servings (1-2 cups). This is another thing that doesn’t work for everyone, but it really helped me understand serving sizes.

Unlike Helen Gurley Brown, the skeletal editor of Cosmo who extolled the beauty of waifs and whose idea of a “sensuous meal” was “a scallop and a packet of Sweet N Low”) (shout out to Annie who did a killer impression of this ancient SNL skit), I believe in satisfying meals with more realistic portions.

Maybe 1/2 portions when dining out will help as you start week 2 of the competition?

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