Diet and Fitness Blogger
Serving as a catalyst to help others get fit and lose weight is Carole s specialty. Having transformed her own life, Carole has a personal connection to this topic. After chronicling her 62-pound weight loss in a weekly…
FAST FACTS
Weight Loss and the Mastery of Portion Control
Posted in Healthy Eating by Carole Carson on Nov 10, 2011
If you're eating wholesome food but unable to lose weight, you may be overestimating the calories you are burning, or underestimating the amount of food you are eating. You wouldn't be alone since both are common mistakes.

At one end of the spectrum is the difficulty of measuring the calories expended. For example, exercise machines can overestimate calories burned during exercise by as much as 31 percent. We can also overestimate the level of difficulty of our workout. Or maybe we are math challenged and can't follow the algebraic formulas involving our height, weight and BMI, to arrive at an accurate answer about expended calories.

At the other end of the spectrum are mistakes we make in calculating the calories we consume. For instance, one survey showed that when eating out, customers significantly underestimated the levels of calories, fat and saturated fat in less-healthful restaurant items. "Actual fat and saturated fat levels were twice consumers’ estimates and calories approached 2 times more than what consumers expected."

Are individuals any better at estimating calories in the portions they eat when eating healthful items? No. Researchers found that when people think they are eating healthy, they eat more. As a result, they consume twice as many calories as they believe they did.

We also confuse portions with servings. For instance, if I eat a large bowl of cereal for breakfast, I may be unaware that I've eaten two servings of cereal. When you add the common problem of overeating through snacking or unintentional eating (such as sampling food while cooking,) you can see how many snakes are in the Medusa head of portion control.

1. Educate yourself. Go to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Portion Distortion website to see how portions have expanded in 20 years. A picture is worth a thousand words.

2. Whether eating out or at home, choose healthy, filling foods. Adopt a simple, inviolable rule: No second helpings.

3. Savor your meals without distraction and eat from a small plate. Chew each bite 35 to 40 times.

4. Drink healthy beverages. For example, drink water instead of sugared juice or have a sugar-free tea in place of a cola.

5. To address cravings between meals, eat satisfying fruit such as apples, grapefruit and oranges.
Developing mastery of portion control, like learning to ride a bike, requires patience and persistence. If you fall down while learning this skill (and you will fall from time to time,) pick yourself up and begin anew. As author, inventor, politician and diplomat Benjamin Franklin said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things."

- Carole Carson

MORE ARTICLES
CATEGORIES: Tips

8
Those are nice strategies to lose weight. As we all know, the average American customer has been getting thicker each year for the last 50 years. That involves increased risks of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. But a recent article points out anther down-side to being obese. Obese motorists use more gas than their svelte counterparts. Gas prices are at near-record highs, and that may motivate some to hit the gym. If you would like to buy a car, you need to get one with better fuel mileage.
By MichaelXen  May 05, 2012
7
not easy losing weight. i've always weighed at 110 or 115. i hit my 40's it went up and now i'm 59. last year i had gone up to 160, and walked many miles to lose the 30 pounds, but it's slowly coming back on. i just bought a treadmill and i'm doing some walking and running on it. sure hope i can lose at least 10 pounds. it's difficult to do much when i have a bad scoliosis, and fibro pain.but i do my best..when i'm well i do my walking. my problem is unlike my younger years i love to eat now, when before i didn't. old age did that to me LOL
By anna92124  Nov 14, 2011
6
You also cannot overlook the fact that some people just do less with more. A guy I work with weighs 175 and never gains a pound. He eats like a horse, doesn't exercise beyond his work, which is less active than mine, and NEVER concerns himself with calories. If I ate his breakfasts ALONE, I'd gain weight. It's not fair, but it's the way it is. I continue to limp along on my grass, chaff and water diet while he eats a stack of flapjacks with syrup for his 'lite' breakfast. You cannot simply blame inaccurate calorie counts on the struggle I have to maintain or even lose weight in the face of the simple physical evidence in front of me. I always chalk it up to 'metabolisms', which is vague, but the only explanation I can possibly come up with. There's a genetic layout at work here.
For the record I am losing weight, but the difference between maintenance and weight loss diet for me is so slight as to be almost negligible.
By spoco57  Nov 14, 2011
5
I found just recently a new product that has 10 years of research that could control my blood sugars and what amazed me was I just didn't lose weight and inches but had a maintenance program to keep it off that's was huge!
By gjm  Nov 13, 2011
4
Hello. Really good article and very helpful. Thank you for sharing this Carole Carson :-)
By Athina  Nov 13, 2011
3
Same here I was 128 and I shot up to 180 I need all the help I can get
By jlore  Nov 12, 2011
2
I have recently lost 175 pounds using portion control and exercise
By Poetloe  Nov 11, 2011
1
Not every meal has to be Thanksgiving dinner.
By sjanderson23  Nov 11, 2011
Got a Question?

My Fans
POPULAR POSTS
Recommendations
From Fat To Fit
Carole Carson
RELATED SUPPORT GROUPS
Coronary Heart Disease
(214 Discussion Topics)
Diabetes Type 2
(3,846 Discussion Topics)
Diets & Weight Maintenance
(8,390 Discussion Topics)
Eating Disorders
(15,489 Discussion Topics)
(2,664 Discussion Topics)
Gastric Bypass Surgery
(33,480 Discussion Topics)
GERD & Heartburn
(1,213 Discussion Topics)
Healthy Eating
(820 Discussion Topics)
Heart Attack
(776 Discussion Topics)
Heart Failure
(666 Discussion Topics)
Obesity
(4,796 Discussion Topics)
Other Heart Problems
(88 Discussion Topics)
Senior Health & Aging
(226 Discussion Topics)
Weight Loss For Teens
(695 Discussion Topics)
Nutrition
(137 Discussion Topics)
Diabetes Type 1
(754 Discussion Topics)