I've started thinking of my measuring cups as a serving spoon. Why dirty one more utensil when I can scoop, measure and serve with one? I don't make a huge deal out of it, but my kids are learning to read labels re: serving size and say "Oh! So *that* is how much we're supposed to eat. Ok!"
current weight: 2.0 over
Fitness Minutes: (16,849)
6/24/14 8:17 P
I still weigh and measure most of my food. It doesn't bother me and I know that I'm not overdoing it. I don't worry at all about vegetables or fruit - sort of eyeball those. And I'm pretty much used to what portion is so when I'm out I can eyeball it.
74 Maintenance Weeks
Fitness Minutes: (6,921)
845 6/24/14 7:26 P
Measuring really doesn't bother me! I feel much more confident that I'm eating the correct amount. I know I will totally screw it up if I try to eyeball it. Measuring and weighing are my friends. My favorite kitchen utensil is my kitchen scale.
I'm not training for a competition. I'm not trying to set a new record. I'm not trying to impress you. I'm saving my life!
Hey Betty :) I share your feelings about feeling uncomfortable with measuring all the time. It just feel unnatural - not comfy and cozy like food should be. Especially if you've been cooking for decades like me. But I've found that I HAVE to maintain a certain vigilance at this point (I'm in a restarting mode as I got off track a month or so ago). I do believe that it makes a difference in my progress if I track as much as possible. The very act of measuring kind of distances me from the emotional aspect of food that I have trouble with. Sometimes knowing I have to measure and track - I decide the eating is not worth it :) and go my way just fine. Hope that didn't make you feel worse. Debbie V.
LET IT GO!
current weight: 264.0
Fitness Minutes: (11,152)
6/23/14 4:25 P
think of what you're doing differently. in other words, instead of working yourself up over how awful measuring your food is and how it makes you feel chained to your kitchen, think of what useful knowledge that you're taking the time to learn. also consider reading up on slavery or sex slavery to put measuring your food into perspective. mildly annoying at times, i'll give you, but it certainly isn't dominating you. i know it sounds cheesy, but so much of how we feel about something is what we're taking into it. so if you think it's awful and going to be horrible, then it likely will because you're not looking for anything else. but if you start by looking at it as something that you need to learn, something useful with an end in sight, the tedium can be moderated somewhat. it still might not be your favorite thing on the planet, but it can be a little more like brushing your teeth, showering, flossing, going to the bathroom, cleaning out the dish drain, taking out the trash and all of those other things that we do because they're good for us, not because we particularly enjoy them.
a lot of my veg meals are one pots, so it's easier to portion as you cook instead of portioning it on the plate. erm... let me try and explain that a little better. if i am making two portions of lentil curry, i'll use half a cup of dry lentils [or if i'm really honest any smallish, bowlish or cuplike container that i can fill with lentils and then fill with the same amount of water], which is two servings. if my protein portion is half a cup, that means that i need at least a cup of whatever vegetables i am using [or if i am using some other not actual measuring cup i'll chop up veg to fill it to twice the volume of the lentils and use that as my holding container before i add the veg to the cooking lentils] to get the ratio to be what i want it to be [1 protein to 1 grain to 2 vegetables]. since i usually serve my lentil curry on a baked potato, that means that when i serve half of my dish i'll have 1/4 cup of dry lentils that have been cooked along with a half cup of veg on a small potato. for pasta dishes where the pasta is the main protein, figure you want at least 1/3 of the dish to be pasta if not up to 1/2.
i will also say that i love my pyrex bowls and containers. my favorite size is the two cup, so when the container is half full, that's a cup of whatever i am eating. the best part is that the regular bowls have a decorative squiggle around the rim. if i fill the bowl to the bottommost squiggle, that's a cup. if i fill the bowl to the topmost squiggle, that's 1.5 cups.
again, if you pay attention to what you're doing when you weigh and measure, you can figure out what you can skip measuring. in other words, you'll learn that you're always going to have to weigh and measure avocado and oil, but you can pretty much just eyeball portions of lettuce, celery, onions and kale. think of it this way, if you're off by twice the amount, what would matter? for a Tablespoon of oil, that's 120 cals and a pretty big difference. but for a cup of lettuce, that's 15 cals. even if you're three times off, that's still only 45 cals. so if you're watching as you're actually tracking and weighing and measuring you can start to sort things out into foods that you're always going to have to weigh and measure and foods that you can eyeball and it's not going to matter much one way or the other. as you learn this, you can maximize your measuring efforts by only doing what's going to make the most difference in your meal.
-google first. ask questions later.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
3 6/22/14 2:41 P
I know the capacity of most of my most-used dishes. That helps cut down on having to measure things. If I didn't have dishes with the capacities I needed, I bought them. So for example, I know which glasses hold exactly one cup, which bowls hold two cups, which Tupperware containers hold just two tablespoons, which ones hold exactly a half cup, etc. That helps a lot! Then I can just put my food in the correctly-sized container and automagically know it's the right amount.
I often portion out foods ASAP when they're brought home. So I might portion an entire carton of cottage cheese, for example, right into T-ware containers that I know hold a half cup each. Then that's done for several days and I don't have to think about it for a while. Or I might portion out five or six olives into tiny T-ware containers and put them all into a small box so I can find them in the fridge later.
I'm liberal with non-carby veggies, so I don't measure/weigh those very much. It helps me feel like I'm getting away with something even though if I eat an extra radish or something like that, it won't hurt me any.
I use a large "bento box" in the fridge and set up the entire day's worth of food in it in the morning, when my willpower is strongest. Then I know anything in the bento is fair game that day and if it's not in the bento, I better not eat it. This keeps me from rummaging around in the pantry and fridge later in the day, which almost always gets me in trouble. It also gives me a visual reminder of what a normal portion is, how much food is normal to eat in one day, and it keeps me from eating as much all at once because what's in the box has to last the entire day. Using the bento means I only have to think about my food and portions once a day.
I also cook ahead. I will make a batch of WW soup or some other food, and divide it up into soup bowls in the proper serving size, then put all the bowls in the fridge. I don't mind eating repetitive meals so if I make a six-serving recipe of soups for lunch, I don't have to think about or measure my portions for my lunch for the next six days. It's so much easier than putting it all in one big dish and then having to portion it out every time I want to eat something. I do the same with freezer meals, freezing them in the proper single-serving portions, and I try to stay within approximately 250 calories per meal so I don't have to constantly try to figure out the calorie content of anything. Or I make sure to write the calorie content on the freezer label if it's a lot more or less than 250.
If I make a batch of something like coleslaw, I package at least part of it up into half-cup containers or whatever the correct portion is so I know when I want some, one container is the amount I'm supposed to be eating.
I use the tare feature on my scale a lot. I put my dish on the scale and zero it out. For a salad, as an example, I put in the base, which is the greens. Those are pretty low cal so the weight isn't real important, so I zero it again. But anything that has to be measured, I weigh if at all possible. It's much easier to measure bottled salad dressing by weight than by putting two tablespoons in a measuring spoon and then scraping it out onto the salad. Just zero the scale, pour the dressing onto the salad until you hit the right weight, and that's the portion. Need two ounces of meat? Zero the scale again and add it in. Etc. Serving sizes are always listed in grams as well as by volume on the nutrition labels on any food. For foods you might not have a label for, such as meats, take the time to look them up as needed. After a while, you'll know how much to use without having to look things up. Or just use a few general rules, like try to use lean meats as much as possible, and then for breakfast or lunch, no more than two ounces or three ounces for dinner, or whatever your correct amount is for the program you're following.
All of this stuff really cuts down on the amount of dirty dishes I generate, too, which in turn makes the whole process a lot less work.
This is what I usually suggest: 1. Measure for 2-3 solid weeks--all foods and beverages. Use the same size plate, bowl, cup, glass, juice glass "always". Really focus on how full the 1 cup cereal fills the bowl; or the 1 cup mark on the glass, are the pile of rice filling 1/4 your plate, etc
2. Now start to eyeball your food portions for standard things. If you eat something new or more unusual then measure it.
3. If you continue to lose weight at approximately the same rate each week---continue with your eyeballing for you are doing a good job---there is no need to measure.
4.. If you notice you gain weight 1-2 weeks in a row---then pull out the cups, scale, etc. And measure everything for 2 weeks again to refocus your brain on the appearance of those standard portions.
Hope this helps Becky Your SP Registered Dietitian
Fitness Minutes: (2,124)
17 6/22/14 1:09 P
I am having severe issues with portion control lately. I do measure at home MOST of the time, but I hate it! It makes me feel like a slave to my meal. I have been trying to come up with ways to exercise portion control without all the measuring and weighing.
I think the plate method suits me most; dividing your plate into three sections 1/2 veggies, 1/4 whole grain, 1/4 protein...BUT being a vegetarian those lines can get blurred and I think I end up eye balling a little extra. I dug out some old picnic plates I have from holiday picnics that are divided like this. I am thinking that using these until I can manage a "normal" plate might help.
I also try to use specific serving spoons that I have previously measured so I can at least forgo the measuring cups in some cases.
Any ideas or suggestions for controlling portions without the constant measuring and weighing?
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.