Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week #11 Challenge: Eat 5 Small Meals a Day

The point of this week's challenge is to learn to control our PORTION SIZES. This is a HUGE, WONDERFUL HABIT to learn, that I absolutely suck at. But I'm not the only one. Us pudgy Costco-loving Americans are used to supersizing everything and seeing ginormous portions served to us at restaurants, so it's difficult to even understand what "a serving size" should be - instead we usually end up eating muffins that are the size of our head! Instead of just looking at calories, carbs or fat grams on package labels, check out the SERVING SIZES. You'll find that what you may have thought to be a "serving" is actually two or three in a lot of cases.

Take this week to contemplate how much you're serving yourself. Eat slowly. Stop when you are FULL, not when your plate is clean.  Five small meals each day should keep you satisfied and not hungry, so you do NOT overeat.  "Meals" is kind of a misnomer I think here - grabbing a piece of fruit, a piece of string cheese, or a few carrots, to give some examples, for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack is ideal - and hopefully will keep you from binging at lunch or dinner.  I found this online:

Instead of trying to memorize lists of ounces, cups, and tablespoons, simply compare the serving sizes of particular foods to familiar physical objects. For example, a single serving of:
  • Vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.
  • Pasta is about the size of one scoop of ice cream.
  • Meat, fish, or poultry is the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm (minus the fingers).
  • Snacks such as pretzels and chips is about the size of a cupped handful.
  • Apple is the size of a baseball.
  • Potato is the size of a computer mouse.
  • Bagel is the size of a hockey puck.
  • Pancake is the size of a compact disc.
  • Steamed rice is the size of a cupcake wrapper.
  • Cheese is the size of a pair of dice or the size of your whole thumb (from the tip to the base).

Good luck!


  1. Hara Hachi Bu is a Japanese phrase meaning "Eat until you are only 80% full."

    I directly work on a team with Dr. Brian Wansink who is the Director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and a major contributor the 100 calorie snack pack. The idea behind the snack pack (which most people aren't aware of) is something called the "mindless margin." If we cut out 100 calories a day, we lose 10 lbs a year. This works in the opposite direction as well increasing your weight 10 extra pounds a year.

    Dr. Brian Wansink worked very closely with the Mindless Team to design the ideal dinnerware, called Thinware,™ taking into account the size, shape, color, dimensions, and quality encouraging smaller food portions while leaving a person feeling completely satiated. Very interesting research was done by Wansink described in his book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think.” The book is entertaining, funny and is the premise of our companies, and our weight loss plan It sounds like you think along the same lines and would appreciate some sound information with real solutions.

    "The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."-Dr. Brian Wansink.

  2. The first day of this challenge went well for me, but then last night I was hungry by the time I went to bed because my small dinner didn't hold me over. I just can't catch up and feel full with all these little meals! I'm on #3 at 11:30am. Maybe this is telling me my body is used to eating too much! :)