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Day One! Where to Begin?

Posted Feb 12 2010 1:48pm
It is Day One and you are about to embark on a lifestyle change. Diet is a dirty word - diets do not work. You are not looking at the short-time. It is all about making small achievable steps.

The first thing I suggest is to keep a food journal - nothing fancy, a spiral notebook will do. At the top of each page, write the date and write down everything that passes your lips. All beverages, condiments, and foods. Try to make a good approximation of the amounts you are eating as well.

This is the first step in taking a step back and determining where substitutions can be made. Notice I didn't say eliminating, I said substituting. Once you are aware of what you are consuming, then we can proceed.

The first topic I would like to cover is portion sizes which will be helpful to you to keep an accurate assessment in your food journal. For the last three decades the amount of food purchased in pre-packaged form or served at a restaurant to be eaten in one sitting has ballooned to such an extent that the average person has no concept of what constitutes a sensible portion. Think: Big Gulp, Triple Whopper, All You Can Eat Buffet, Bottomless Bowl of Breadsticks. As a result many of us have started to underestimate the amount of food we eat in a sitting.

The following is a portion control size guide with common visual cues
3 oz of Beef, Chicken or Fish is equal to the size/width of a deck of cards, checkbook or the palm of your hand.

1/2 cup is equivalent to a golf ball or 1/2 of a tennis ball.

1 cup is equivalent to your fist or a tennis ball.

1 oz (of cheese) is equivalent to approximately 4 dice.

1 Tbsp of peanut butter, butter, or salad dressing is equal to the size of your thumb.

Your thumb tip or the size of one die is equal to approximately 1 Tsp.

Watching your portions is one of the easiest ways to cut back on calories although it can be one of the most challenging.
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