That Looks About Right

Thin MintsAwareness of serving sizes and what a proper portion look like can be an eye-opening experience.  I did not get to 370 lbs by carefully monitoring my portions or eating just one serving of an item.  Our Weight Watchers meeting last Friday was all about portion control and I love the subject so much, I thought I would pass along some helpful hints to all of you.

Since I have been on Weight Watchers, I have become somewhat of a nut about measuring and weighing my food to the exact amount of what a serving is supposed to be.  This is the only method by which I can be sure of the number of Points Plus I am consuming in a day and while it is a lot of work, I feel safe in saying it has worked for me so far.

Step one is to know what the correct serving size is for whatever you are about to eat.  For instance, for most breakfast cereals a serving is either a ½ or ¾ or a cup.  At 370 lbs, a serving of cereal for me was however much would fit in the bowl, and I certainly wasn’t using the smallest bowl I could find either.  These days you will find me using a measuring cup (every single morning) to measure out exactly ¾ of a cup of cereal and then I use the same measuring cup to measure out ¾ of a cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk to put on top.

Step two is that you have to be committed to knowing serving sizes and measuring or weighing them every single time.  In my opinion, it’s far too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you can “eye ball” your portion size and maintain accuracy, which is not the case.  The “eye balling” method leads to what’s known as portion creep.  You may start out being able to closely “eye ball” a portion size after lots of consistent measuring, but in time, the amount you are “eye balling” is bound to creep up a little more and a little more.  If you follow the “that looks about right” method, before you know it, your portion sizes will be out of control again.

Finally, you need to have an arsenal of measuring devices at your immediate disposal at all times.  I use a scale,  measuring cups, and measuring spoons at home and I use my hand as a guide when I am out at a restaurant and don’t have all of my other tools with me.  Did you know that the palm of your hand is approximately the size of 3 ounces of meat (an appropriate serving), or that your fist is approximately the size of one cup, or that your thumb is approximately the size of 1 ounce of cheese?  While these are not “exact” measurements, they are a good way to gauge your portions if you have no other way to measure.

WW Food Scale                                            Measuring Cups                                             Hand Measurements

Remember, just because something comes in a small package does not mean it’s a single serving.  I was shocked to learn that sometimes a small package contains at least 2 servings, if not more.  The same is true for soft drinks and other types of beverages.  Beware; consuming a single bottle of some soft drinks could equal the number of calories you would have consumed in a small meal.

People often ask me if I really measure my cereal every morning, or my coffee cream with every single cup of coffee, or my meat before dinner and the answer is, “Yes, every single time.”  Then they say that it sounds like an awful lot of work and they aren’t sure if they are willing to put out that amount of effort.  My response is that if you want the results, you will be willing to do the work and if you’re not willing to put out the effort, the goal is not that important to you.  Weight loss is not easy and that does not just refer to the exercise aspect.  You have to willing to put out effort in all areas from portion control, to food prep, to activity and beyond, but the rewards should be your greatest incentive.  Now, let’s all commit to being portion aware this week and make it a great week!

How Hard You Work in the Gym


  1. Shelley Brown says:

    Very well said. I look forward to hearing what you have to say each and every day. You speak very well about this topic. Surely something you’ve worked extremely hard at for the last couple of years. I can’t wait to get started and one day being as knowledgeable as you and speak from an extreme weight loss as well. Keep up the good work. Congratulations!

    • Thank you Shelley! I appreciate that you take the time to read the blog. Once you decide to start, I’m sure you will be successful as well. You will have to keep me posted on how it’s going.

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