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Measure It Out

Posted Mar 10 2009 3:05pm
One of the greater challenges of weight management is keeping accurate track of calories.

At the salad bar, you grab a container of salad dressing and sprinkle some over your dish. Doesn't look like a lot, especially in that huge bowl filled with healthy vegetables!

When you sauteé vegetables, you pour some oil into the pot for what appears to be no more than a single second.

Spreading peanut butter on your morning toast is a matter of dipping the knife in the jar and getting just enough to cover the entire slice of bread.

Raisins are good for you, so you figure two handfuls in your morning oatmeal are no big deal.

I do not expect anyone to walk around with measuring spoons and cups on them or take all enjoyment out of eating by fretting over 15 calories.

In fact, that is the LAST thing I want you to do!

However, I strongly suggest that, just for a one-week period, you familiarize yourself with measurements.

Next time you pour yourself cereal, pour it into a half cup measure first, and then into your bowl.
Become aware of what a half cup of cereal actually LOOKS like.

Serve yourself the amount you normally eat for breakfast, but keep in mind the half cup reference point -- as well as how many of those half cups make it to your bowl.

Do the same thing with your milk. You may think you're getting a good amount of calcium every morning, but if you are merely adding a quarter cup to your cereal, you're getting less than 10 percent of a day's worth.

I also recommend you have measuring spoons handy when you cook.

Before pouring oil into a pot to sauteé garlic and onions, pour the oil into a tablespoon measurement and then into the pot. Is that what you usually pour? If so, that's 120 calories.

If what you usually pour is equivalent to five tablespoons, that's 600 calories.

This is a great exercise because, in the event that you are looking to lose some weight, it pinpoints what particular foods or meals you can feasibly make some adjustments to.

Once you devote a week to this, you will have a clearer mental picture of what a tablespoon or a quarter cup of different foods look like. I'm sure you'll find this helpful down the road when it comes to accurately gauging calories as you go through your day.

Consider it a lifetime investment!
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