I am a slave to the pecan pie. Every Thanksgiving when my family comes over for dinner, our family friend Harold always brings us three delicacies to munch on after the feast, and in the 20 years I have spent Thanksgiving with my wife’s side of the family, I have never been able to turn down pecan pie. The slice to the left 500 calories!
It’s okay to indulge on foods that aren’t exactly healthy from time to time, but it is important to manage how we eat these foods. Portion control can make that easier.
I don’t walk around with a measuring cup in my pocket, and I’m not one of those Food Network prodigies that can accurately eyeball a cup of olive oil into a pan, but luckily for us, we don’t have to be in order to portion our food correctly. Here are some tips that can help.
1. Your hand can be a measuring device to approximate how much food you’re eating. Cupping your hand is around 1/4 cup in a smaller sized hand, and a palm-full of a smaller sized hand is about a cup. To get an accurate measurement unique to your palm, drop a full handful of food once into a measuring cup.
2. Eating out often makes us tempted to overindulge, because we really don’t have any control over the portion size. The tendency is to eat until we’re absolutely full. Before you dig your knife into that sirloin, put half of your meal into a doggy bag — you aren’t wasting any food and you won’t overeat by finishing up everything on your plate.
3. When I’m cooking at home, I like to load up my plate with all the food I’ve prepared. I love watching the Food Network and plating is always something they talk about when presenting dishes. To offset how much food I consume, and still make that plate pretty, I’ll fill up a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.
4. Another thing I do to help myself from eating too much in one sitting is consuming liquid — like water or skim milk — 15 minutes before I sit down to eat. The liquid fills up the gut and leaves less room for food.
Remember, we all underestimate how much we eat and overestimate how much we burn. Losing weight is easy burn more calories than you eat. I’m still not willing to give up that pecan pie, but I don’t have to feel as bad about it if I can be satisfied with a smaller helping. By the way that slice of pie will take you 60 minutes of fast jogging to burn off if you weigh 150 lbs. This is another tool to help you achieve your personal best.