Limiting portion size is a pain in the neck

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have two issues here if you want to lose weight; well, maybe three. First, you have to cut down the amount of food you eat, which means limiting portion size. Second, you have to know what a portion size is. And, of course, – you have to want to do it. That’s the choice thing coming back around again. (Get used to it, it’s going to come around a lot more before I’m finished.)

One of the problems with having a disability that affects your mobility is that in many things you don’t really have a choice. Even though there are more benefits to exercise than I could ever list, a condition that limits your ability to do aerobic exercise really throws off your “calories in/calories out” balance, making it much easier to tilt toward the “calories in” side, which results in weight gain. That’s why you really have to put the majority of your attention on limiting portion size and making every calorie count.

When people start learning about nutrition, they might not necessarily know how much fish or what quantity of vegetables constituted one serving. A couple spoonfuls here or there seem good enough, right? There is a whole science behind serving size, and nutritionists have devised some handy ways to help us remember a few common examples.

A serving of meat, poultry, or fish (4 ounces) is about the size of a deck of cards or two eggs. A serving (1 ounce) of cheese is approximately the size of two dice. One portion of potato or a starchy vegetable (3 ounces) is the same size as a standard computer mouse.

We have an informative PowerPoint slide presentation on our website that you can download with more portion size memory aids using common objects.

You will love me forever if you follow this simple trick – use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate! (No fair piling it as high as you can!)

Additional Resources

Check out this cheat sheet to portion sizes

The cycle of disability and weight gain

Weight loss choices: Accept tools to make shopping, cooking easier

By Margaret A. Nosek, Ph.D.

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