Through advertising, bulk packaging and ever increasing meal sizes, perceptions of portions and serving sizes have become skewed.
A TV commercial will pan across the image of a whole pizza, breadsticks, a two-liter of soda and usually a large dessert. The pizza alone averages around 2,000 calories, so the calories represented in a single commercial far outweigh the average recommended daily allowance of calories. In contrast, a single slice of pizza contains around 250 calories.
Recognizing Portion Sizes
New portion guides, such as those provided by Mayo Clinic, provide visual representations of a single serving, which can help reverse the trend of portion misperception. Take these examples:
- One serving of lean meat (3 ounces) is equal to a deck of cards.
- A serving of cheddar cheese is equal to four dice.
- One serving of fruit (1/2 cup) is equal to a tennis ball.
- A serving of cooked carrots (1/2 cup) is equal to a baseball.
- A serving of pasta or cereal (1/2 cup) is the size of a hockey puck.
One of the best ways to understand portions is to look at the nutrition labels on the foods you have at home and diligently measure a single portion and remove it from the package. Once you have a single serving, compare that amount to the amount you normally consume. The differences may be significant.
By providing strong visual cues, you’re more likely to make better portion decisions when serving meals or dining out.
Here are some helpful strategies to control portion sizes:
- Double check nutrition labels before making meals or consuming snacks. Remove a single serving from a larger package and put the rest away to support having only one serving at a time.
- When dining at home, serve one portion and keep the leftovers on the stove, or store them immediately to make having second helpings less likely.
- When eating out, consider ordering the lunch portion, sharing a dinner or ordering off of the appetizer menu to avoid consuming too much in one sitting.
- Avoid eating while doing any other activity, like watching a movie or sitting at your desk. Savor the experience of eating by only consuming food when you’re aware of how much you’re eating.
Understanding portion sizes can help you make informed choices during your medical weight loss program, as well as help you with meal planning for long-term weight management.
Nutrition labels will inform you how many calories each serving contains, but unless you’re careful with your measurements, you may inadvertently eat more than a single serving. It is especially easy to eat oversized portions while dining out. Learning how to measure portion sizes and limit yourself to a single serving can help you maintain your weight loss goals.
Creating SMART Weight Loss Goals
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” -Tony Robbins
Medical weight loss can help you reach your goal weight, but it will take time to achieve this important objective. As you gradually make progress towards your goal weight, setting smaller goals can help you plan out your path to success and stay motivated along the way.
Understanding Weight Loss Plateaus
Sometimes after a period of steady weight loss, the scale stops moving. Without making any conscious changes to your diet and exercise habits, your weight loss halts. This is known as a weight loss plateau.
In nature, a plateau is a flat and expansive piece of land that contrasts with the surrounding landscape. During your weight loss program, a plateau can be a frustrating period that may test your will to continue striving toward your ultimate weight loss goal.
Keeping Hydrated for Your Health
Staying hydrated throughout your day is one of the healthiest lifestyle changes you can make. Proper hydration habits can reduce your risk of heat-related injury, benefit heart health, boost your metabolism and give you more energy throughout the day.
Preventing Regain after Weight Loss
Medical weight loss can give you the tools you need to lose weight and keep it off, but sometimes no matter how closely you follow a program a slip-up leading to weight regain can happen. It’s almost inevitable, and it’s nothing to beat yourself up about.
It’s important to be able to take personal responsibility for any slip-ups. If you’ve regained weight, it’s possible that it was your body adjusting to all of the lifestyle changes you’ve been making.
Stress and Weight Loss
As you go through your medical weight loss program in Scottsdale, it’s important that you learn to manage any health problems that may affect your weight loss, such as stress. Stress is the body’s neurological response to events in life that make you feel pressured, threatened, upset or anxious. Believe it or not, stress is meant to help you. When managed properly, stress can motivate you to perform well under pressure. However, if you find yourself in a constant stressful state or if you don’t know how to deal with stress, it can take a toll on your overall health, especially if you’re trying to lose weight through medical weight loss.
Healthy Sleep Habits during Medical Weight Loss
Getting enough sleep is an integral part of any medical weight loss program. If you aren’t well rested, it can make losing weight more difficult than it needs to be. If you’re excessively tired during the day, sticking to even the simplest of exercise routines can be a chore. To get the most out of your medical weight loss program, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting at least eight hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep every night.
Handling Setbacks during Weight Loss
When it comes to losing weight, the journey may sometimes seem a bit overwhelming; especially if you have been struggling with your weight for a long time, without any results. Medical weight loss is a great way of encouraging long-term weight loss and lifestyle changes with the help of your physician and weight loss team. However, like any endeavor, you can’t begin your weight loss program believing that you have found a “miracle cure” to your weight and health concerns. Even with a great support team, your weight loss journey may not be totally smooth all the time.
How to Make Mindful Eating Part of Your Weight Loss Plan
How much do you think about what you eat? The weight loss industry has a phrase that is becoming more prevalent among consumers, as well – mindful eating. It is a common sense approach to meeting your weight loss goals and learning to better your relationship with food. Get educated about mindful eating and find ways to incorporate it into your healthy lifestyle.