Practice Portion Control.. not Calorie Counting
Calorie Counting, as a dieting technique, works in its strictest sense. But in actual practice, keeping track of each calorie consumed is not really a good strategy for weight loss in the long term. Decades of weight loss research have shown that either low fat diets or low carbohydrate diets work best for short term weight loss. Finding the good middle ground between the awareness of what one is taking in and an easy-to-use set of daily food habits isn't always easy. Somewhere between the strict diets and the calorie counting, there is a happy medium that will work for most people's daily routines. Finding real portion control is part of that middle ground, and making it habitual makes all the difference in a good, satisfying yet healthy long term diet plan.
The porterhouse steak in the picture above is not just one meal according to recommended daily intake guidelines. That steak is nearly two whole days worth of protein intake. Portions in restaurants, in packaging and parcel have exploded in the last 30 years. A steak, a bagel, a soda now comes standard in a size that is two times or more the size that it was served in the 1980's, and it is showing in collective waistlines.
A so-called standard muffin or bagel in an ordinary bakery is 2 to 3 times what is recommended for a serving by the USDA. That means the little treat that was so convenient for breakfast may have contained the entirety of the carbohydrates and fat recommended for the day. Awareness of what is necessary for the day's nutritional requirements, what is necessary to sate feelings of hunger, and the truth about what one consumes above and beyond nutrition and hunger each day is one of the biggest and best steps in lifestyle change.
Tactics that can help control portion include sharing meals at restaurants or packing half a meal to go, using smaller plates at the house, and reading package labels for serving size information.
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