Holiday Banquet Portion Control

With the holiday season upon us, and office parties and family gatherings crowding your calendar, it's a good time to start thinking about portion control. Many nutrition experts believe that controlling portions at meals is the key to maintaining and/or losing weight. Trouble is, most Americans aren't very good judges of portion size. That's unfortunate, since consuming 100 calories a day more than you need adds about 10 pounds of body weight per year.

To lose weight, adult men should aim for a diet of 1,700 calories per day while women would be well served to limit themselves to around 1,370 calories. One good strategy for accomplishing this is to substitute a protein bar or shake for one daily meal. Another is to use a salad plate instead of a regular sized serving plate. Divide that plate's surface area into quarters. Half should be reserved for vegetables, and a quarter should be for protein. The remaining quarter can be starchy foods.

The Bigger Picture: If you're going to be eating a lot of meals out over the holidays, always assume that any selection will always amount to more than one serving. A 130 pound person who consumes 500 calories more than they should in one day would need to bicycle for an hour and a half to burn off the excess energy. Keep that in mind when you're tempted to go for seconds.
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