Friday, September 10, 2010

Keeping an eye on portion sizes

Now you know what constitutes a portion in each of the food groups, use the kitchen scales and/or measuring cup to better see what a portion really is. My digital scale sits out on my counter top all the time, ready for weighing recipe ingredients AND my food servings. Portion size control is vital – and your portions can increase very rapidly if you don’t keep a close watch. If you've been visually controlling portion size for a while, get the scale out and measure again, you may well find you have become over generous.

The portions I have suggested in my posts this week provide a daily intake of ±2000kcals/8400kjoules, which is adequate for a moderately active female. Men obviously need more – they have bigger bodies to maintain and generally they metabolize food faster (so unfair!). If you find that you do not lose weight, then reduce your daily portions of oils and grains slightly. If you lose a lot of weight fast, then increase the number of grains and meat portions. Vegetables are low in kilojoules/kcals and a good tummy filler – you can healthily increase the number of portions at any time. Weight loss of more than ½ - 1 kilo per week is unhealthy, over an extended period, unless you are VERY overweight to begin with. Losing more slowly means the weight will stay off.

Don’t weigh yourself more than once a week – same time, same clothes (or lack of!). Your weight fluctuates from day to day, even throughout the day. Do measure yourself: chest, waist, hips, thigh. You’ll be pleasantly surprised after a few weeks.

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