The saying “too much of a good thing” doesn’t always make sense to us – and we often can’t apply it to our life. But a great example of this can be applied to how we eat, particularly, how much we eat. Yes, we can bake salmon, steam our veggies, and eat our fruit, but if we’re eating outside of our “golden ratios”, we might not necessarily be on the right track to reaching our goal. Tracking our portions and ensuring that they are within our recommended metabolic efficiency efficiency is important. Here are a few options to help track your portions at any meal:
Use a Kitchen Scale
Measuring food with an actual kitchen scale before we eat is the gold standard of tracking our portions because it is the most accurate. The scale will give you exact ounces, fluid ounces, milliliters, and grams, making measuring your portions quite simple: just prop your plate on the scale and measure out your protein, grain, and vegetables. A kitchen scale can be ideal to measure out liquids/beverages and smaller, more difficult things like oil or peanut butter.
Use measuring cups, spoons, and use them right!
Using measuring cups and spoons can also be a great way to manage your portions. Like everything, practice makes perfect. Make sure you’re measuring correctly and using the correct tools; if measuring dry ingredients like rolled oats, or rice, be sure to fill only to the surface and using a knife (or flat edge) to level off the top for accurate measurements. Same goes with the measuring spoons – a heaping spoonful can significantly change the portion. Lastly, when measuring liquids, be sure to use liquid measuring cups, these generally have a spout and labeled with ounces.
Use your hand
Of course, we don’t expect you to carry around measuring spoons or cups in your bags and whip them out when eating out at a restaurant. That’s silly, right? And sometimes we often under or overestimate the actual size of our portions by “just eyeballing.” This is where you can get creative and use your hand for a semi-accurate estimations of portions. Generally, the size of the palm is 3 ounces of protein, a fist is 1 cup of vegetables or grains, and so on. Becoming familiar with these size suggestions can help you gain some control when eating out or in a pinch for time.
Ideally, taking any time to pre-measure meals is ideal for anyone who is on the run and constantly busy. Having a properly portioned meal ready to grab-and-go can reduce the stress of not only putting your meal together, but having to measure it. Try pre-measuring your next meal by using any of the methods above. Practice makes perfect, you just need to start somewhere.