Following the suggesting serving sizes of healthy food can result in a weight loss success!

Have you ever found yourself frustrated while attempting to drop a few pounds? Don’t they just seem to hang on for dear life sometimes?   You want them gone but they want to stay.  So you start trying a lot of different things like barely eating all day long.  Or you keep yourself on the go continuously.  From the moment you wake up to the time you get ready for bed at night you are always actively doing something.   So why in the world can’t you lose the few pounds that you desperately want to go away?

Often people will inform me that they only eat healthy food, not any of the “bad stuff,” yet they just can’t figure out why they aren’t shedding the pounds.  I’ve found that one reason for this could be something pretty simple, people don’t follow  the recommended serving sizes of the foods they eat.

Honestly, how many of us know all the recommended serving sizes of the products that we consume?   Oftentimes we are taking two, three, even four portion sizes which means we are taking in 2-4 times more calories than we thought.  This adds up very quickly and can actually hinder any weight loss attempts.

Today I thought I would share some of the recommended serving sizes of many of the healthy foods we often consume in excess without even realizing it.

  • Cereal.  Did you know that most of the bowls we use to eat cereal hold a lot more cereal than the official serving size?   Take any brand of a typical raisin bran.  The recommended serving size is one cup which is about 190 calories.  If you use a typical cereal bowl and fill it with cereal, you have just poured out about two cups of raisin bran.  That adds up to approximately 380 calories.   You probably don’t eat the cereal dry, so by the time you’ve added in the milk you’ve added another 190 calories.  That is a lot of extra calories to be using early in the day.  Maybe you want to start using smaller bowls!
  • Peanut butter.  I love the stuff!    A day doesn’t go by when I don’t enjoy my breakfast of whole wheat toast, low sugar preserves and my low fat peanut butter.  But I have to always keep in mind that the serving size is two tablespoons, not double that amount like I used to enjoy when I was morbidly obese.  The peanut butter tastes just as good with the recommended serving size, which is around 190 calories, and I don’t need as much coffee to wash it down!
  • Frozen yogurt and ice cream.  The recommended serving size of frozen yogurt is one cup, which is about 220 calories.  A cup of vanilla ice cream is around 260 calories.  Please note that if you double or triple the recommended serving size of either item, you have a snack that is around 700 calories.  Add toppings and your cool treat could devastate any weight loss results that you’re hoping for.
  • Cheese.  This is a great snack, but remember that the recommended serving size is one ounce.  That is about the size of your thumb and contains approximately 100 calories depending on the kind of cheese.   It’s easy to go overboard on cheese because it tastes so good and I now find it difficult to enjoy a cracker without it.
  • Veggie dips.  Who doesn’t like a little dip on a fresh vegetable, they just go together.  But keep in mind that a serving size of most vegetable dips is 2 tablespoons, which contains 120 calories.   I’ll be the first to admit that I could cover a couple stems of broccoli and a fingerling carrot or two with one recommended serving size of the stuff.  My trick is to water it down, the taste is still there but the calories are cut in half.
  • Coffee creamer-(liquid).  I enjoy a good cup of coffee, many times more than one cup each morning.  If there is a flavored liquid coffee creamer available, I’ll use it to spruce up my java. I have to be cautious though because one single tablespoon can add 40 calories to my beverage.  Some people just “pour it in” not even thinking of the serving size.  Just three tablespoons can add 120 calories to a beverage that many expect to contain zero calories.
  • Nuts.  A serving size of nuts is ½ cup, which can range from 310 to 470 calories.  Basically, that’s the same amount of calories many people consume for one meal while trying to shed weight.  Eat more than the recommended serving size, you’re consuming 600-940 calories as a snack!  Nuts are great, but keep track of how many you are eating.  Remember, one bite tastes the same as twenty!
  • Whole wheat crackers.  For the majority of boxes I checked, the recommended serving size is only five crackers.  That serving size is pretty simple to follow when you’re at a party viewing the cheese and cracker tray, selecting the ones that look pleasing to the palate.  But if you’re at home and grab the box out of the cupboard, it’s not always easy to stick to the five crackers.  So remember to read the label as you reach into the container, it will remind you not to eat too many.
  • Low fat anything.  I try to avoid these all together because the low fat potato chips label shows that the recommended serving size is 17 chips, which contain 130 calories.  Regular chips are around 10 calories each, so 17 chips would equal 170 calories.  Again, have a few servings and you’re consuming over 500 calories, and honestly, these are not what I consider healthy.  The words “Low Fat” displayed on any box or package does not mean low calories or that the particular food item is good for your body.

So the next time you wonder, ” Why can’t I lose these extra pounds?,” just remember to start checking the serving sizes for your food and results should soon follow.

What are some of the foods you love to eat but might be holding you back from reaching your health goals?

Photo credit Toni Girl

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