Little Helpers

Everyone has heard that portion control is a huge factor in maintaining a healthy weight.  However, most people have a distorted perception about portion size.  One of the cookbooks I own has a little chart inside that helps put portion size into visual perspective, here’s how:

3 oz. beef, chicken, or fish = deck of cards
1 serving cold cereal = baseball
1 medium potato = tennis ball
3 oz. deli meat, sliced = 3 CDs
1 serving cheese = domino
1/4 c. grated cheese = golf ball
1 tsp. butter or jam = tip of your thumb
1 Tbsp. peanut butter = your thumb
1 average bagel = hockey puck
1 serving pasta or rice = cupcake wrapper

Compared to the above list, do you feel as though you typically eat correct portion sizes?  I will admit about half of my previous consumption was probably at least 50% more than an actual portion size (the other half was about right, and sometimes less – it just depends on the food).

Other useful tips to help you eat healthier:

– When baking, replace 1/4 or 1/2 of the butter or oil with unsweetened applesauce.  Applesauce is a better replacement for oil than butter.
– If you’re substituting a substantial amount of butter or oil with applesauce, you can reduce some of the sugar because of the natural sweetness of apples.
– One Tbsp. of sugar = 48 calories
– Reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat butter work well in place of their full-fat varieties in frosting, but since the lighter products tend to be more soft-set, the recipe may need less liquid.

The 10,000 step goal:
Apparently, walking 10,000 steps in a day is the approximate equivalent to  walking five miles.  There have been numerous studies showing walking 10,000 steps in a day has many health benefits.  To find out more about the health benefits of walking go here or here.
Pedometers are not really expensive.  You can find one here.

Calories burned (per hour):
Bicycling – 544
Gardening – 340
Golfing – 374
Hiking – 408
Kayaking/canoeing – 340
Swimming – 544
Tennis – 476
Volleyball (casual) – 204
(All of these figures are based on a 150-pound person.  Those who weigh more will burn more; those who weigh less will burn less.)

Here is a easy-to-use worksheet to help you stay on track.
Meal Planning Worksheet

Hope you find some of these tips helpful on your journey.

-Erica

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