Size Matters

What’s the most important aspect of a successful diet?

There’s one aspect over all else that can cause you to eat healthy foods and make no change whatsoever. It’s portion size or overall calories consumed. In this article though we are not going to talk about calories, but portion sizes.

IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) or counting calories is cool but can be very advanced, annoying and unnecessary. Asking someone who is just trying to lose a few pounds to learn how to count calories correctly is a little much. On top of that calorie counting can be wildly inaccurate. What you think is a one hundred calorie serving can easily be one hundred and fifty calories to two hundred. Again, you don’t need to count calories and probably shouldn’t until you master the basics.

What does matter and is easy to do is watch portion sizes. Generally the portions we eat are WAY too big. The average restaurant meal in the United States is more than one thousand calories. One thousand calories a meal is way too much for most people! But we don’t care about calories, just portion sizes.

I’ve seen controlling portion size work over several decades for someone very close to me, my mother. My mother has always watched the amount of food she eats. She either splits meals in half and eats later or orders off the kids menu. She also never cooks, ever. Even though she eats all of her meals out she has been able to stay in the low hundreds her whole life while her mother is north of two hundred. They both eat out all the time and rarely cook, the difference is my mother makes sure to eat relatively healthy most of the time and is vigilant about controlling her portions.

A simple place to start is just to never eat an entire meal when you are out. It’s too much, trust me. We also carry a great tool with us all of the time that we didn’t even know we had. Your hand is a great measure for portion sizes. A palm is a serving of protein, cupped hand serving of carbs, fist serving of veggies or fruits and thumb a serving of fats. I learned all of these when taking the Precision Nutrition Certification and it opened my eyes to why calorie counting needs to be a thing of the past for most. If you make most meals one serving of carbs, protein, fat and veggies or fruits you will do extremely well. Just don’t make it complicated!