In keeping up with highlighting positive weight loss stories in the news (since there are soooo many bad ones) I’m going to discuss a recent CNN article centered around portion sizes. There is some good and some bad in this article, but overall I think it sends a good message.
The article first starts off my talking about the importance of portion sizes for weight loss and mentions “when people overeat, it leads to irregularity in blood sugar. It also leads to obesity…” This is all very true, but are portion sizes the reason people overeat or are obese? Maybe it’s more the food choices they make, the number of meals eaten per day, or the number of calories consumed via liquid to name a few. Still portion size is a valuable discussion.
The article next mentions five talking points about portion sizes. We will discuss two of them:
- Ignore the size of your plate.
This is an old wives tale that says the smaller the plate the less you will eat. Really? Or maybe I’ll just eat more platefuls? This article cites a study that debunks this tale and mentions it’s better to learn what a proper portion size actually is. I totally agree and think you should take it a step further and learn how many calories are in common portion sizes of chicken, steak, ground beef, eggs, etc. Once you understand the basics, healthy eating becomes so much easier!
Also if you eat lunch at work, take the same Pyrex everyday! That way you know the portion sizes that fit in there and how many calories you are having for that meal. Once you figure everything out once, you have it figured out forever. No more guessing or wishy washy meals from that food truck across the street. Unless it’s a cheat day of course…..
- Serve yourself some bad foods
I don’t like this one. Even though I literally just mentioned a cheat day in my previous paragraph, I feel like the way this was worded allows people to think it’s ok to eat something bad every meal. I totally disagree with this strategy and think it will really hinder your weight loss goals. I’m much more a fan of 90/10, meaning you eat healthy 90 percent of the time and unhealthy 10 percent of the time. For you wise guys out there, that doesn’t mean you can have 9 healthy meals and then a 10,000 calorie meal (or does it? Read more about the Tim Ferris diet here). If you are following 90/10, 90 percent of your calories should be healthy!
One last little hack that CNN mentioned was regarding focusing on your eating. They say that the unfocused eater is more likely to overeat than the focused eater. They mention eating with your opposite hand since it will take more concentration than normal thus reducing your chances of overeating. It’s an intriguing hypothesis. Another way to focus more is to really challenge yourself on the meals you cook yourself. If you try and taste the ingredients that you know are in there, you might become more focused. Plus, if you are trying new challenging recipes, you can make them healthy from the get go!
All in all portion sizes probably plays a fairly minor role in obesity as the food choices you make are much more important. Still, some of these tips put forth by CNN in this article are helpful and might make that little bit of extra difference you need to lose weight. So go out there and try one of these today and be sure to report back here on how it worked!