Are portion sizes making you gain weight?

Are portion sizes making you gain weight?

If I could get a penny every time I heard someone say “Oh, I was so good with my diet last week, but the scale showed no change! “I would be a thousand dollars richer at least”

One of the common reasons people have a stall with weight loss or worse weight gain is with the distortion of portion sizes. Servings that look small are sometimes packed with calories. One common example is the nuts (No, I am not going nuts!) They are such a handy snack and readily available whenever right? We all know the health benefits of almonds, walnuts, and macadamias and tend to choose these more often. Just a quick tip here, the addition of salt and any kind oil roasting just adds more calories and increases cravings for this snack.

Here is the breakdown of the number of calories in each cup of these unsalted and raw varieties.

Almonds – Whole nuts- 826 Cal, paste -1,039 Cal

Macadamias- Whole nuts -962 Cal

Mixed nuts with peanuts – 813 Cal

Walnuts- pieces or chips -784 Cal

Another common food that we all tend to readily reach for is fruits. They are a great option for a snack due to the many vitamins and minerals and should be part of a healthy diet. Just keep in mind the portion size and the number of carbs.

Here is the breakdown of calories and the total carb counts for some common fruits. Serving size is a medium-sized fruit- Apple (130cal, 30gm), Banana (207 Cal, 26gm), Orange (65 Cal, 11gm) Grape (3 Cal, 0.9gm) and Mango (99 Cal, 24gm)

So, keep this in mind, any time you see that the scale is not budging. Do a food log for a few days and reevaluate the portion sizes. If you want to be even more sure, buy a food scale and weigh the foods so there is an accurate calorie count.

Here are few tips about how a portion size would look for the macronutrients.

1)Carbohydrates – 1 cupped hand = 1 serving (Eg:1/2 cup of cooked rice, 1 cup of fruit, 1 slice of bread)

2) Protein – 1 palm= 1 serving (Eg:1 oz of meat, fish or cheese, 1 egg, ½ oz of nuts or seeds, 1 Tbsp of nut butter, ¼ cup of cooked beans)

3) Fats- 1 thumb= 1 serving (Eg:1 tbsp of vegetable oils and olive, ½ medium-size avocado)

4)Vegetable- 1 fist = 1 serving (Eg: 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, 2 cups leafy vegetables)

Now, we have not even talked about the liquid calories that we ingest and the hidden carbs. That is a whole blog post by itself. Stay tuned for more facts about healthy nutrition and the common myths. Happy Calorie counting, folks!

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