portion distortion

M is for Measuring Mistakes

M is for Measuring Mistakes

Whenever I start to see some weight gain, the first place I look for the culprit is in my measurements. Food serving sizes and portion control are a huge piece of the weight loss equation, maybe even one of the most important parts.

It’s so easy to get off-track when we don’t measure. I used to measure pretty diligently when I was trying to lose weight. For two years I ate a turkey sandwich for lunch with one serving of Wheat Thins. (Boring, I know.) I would count out a serving of crackers and put them in my lunch bag.

Now that I’m in maintenance mode I measure less often. I tend to “eye-ball it” instead. Most of the time this is effective. I’m not restricting food, but eating in moderation within a certain calorie range.

The bad news: it’s so easy to overeat when not measuring.

Every so often I get back on track by measuring out my food. I usually know when I’m getting out of control again with my measuring. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a portion size is never as much food as you WANT to eat!

Here are a few examples of serving sizes. Let’s go with the Wheat Thin example. A serving size is 16 crackers for 140 calories. This is what a serving size looks like:

But what if you ate “just a few more crackers” than the serving size? It often seems like “just a few more” isn’t a big deal.

22 crackers–“just a few more” equals nearly 200 calories (193 to be exact). While it doesn’t seem like much, it all adds up pretty quickly when we’re not calculating the calories accurately. Pretty soon those “just a few more” bites, nibbles and snacks can be hundreds of calories in a day.

It’s easy to get lazy with “eye-balling” portions. Just a handful here…a few bites there…and soon it adds up fast. Especially if you aren’t recording those bites and nibbles. I recently decided to banish the mindless candy eating at work and so far it’s been going well. One thing I found by avoiding that Candy Room: I have hundreds of calories left over for the day. Wow! What a difference measurement, accountability and restraint makes! It fueled me to keep going and break the candy habit!

QUESTION: Do you measure food? Do you track the “nibbles and bites”?


A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight *