These are great fun times coming up for us for the most part. We will see friends and loved ones who live out of town. There is great reason to celebrate. With the tips on this infographic, you may be able to sidestep the worst of holiday weight gain.
Image Credit: P.K. Newby, and author of Food and Nutrition: What Everyone Needs to Know®, Oxford University Press 2018
It turns out that ‘senior discounts’ apply as much to our nutrition as to our bills when it comes to eating as we get older. The National Institute on Aging offers the following tips for seniors to insure that we get all the nutrients. that we need.
Making healthy food choices is a smart thing to do—no matter how old you are! Your body changes through your 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond. Food provides nutrients you need as you age. Use these tips to choose foods for better health at each stage of life.
1. Drink plenty of liquids
With age, you may lose some of your sense of thirst. Drink water often. Low-fat or fat-free milk or 100% juice also helps you stay hydrated. Limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt. Learn which liquids are better choices.
It always pays to read the labels. Remember, that a teaspoon full of sugar is only four grams, so know how much sugar you are consuming.
2. Make eating a social event
Meals are more enjoyable when you eat with others. Invite a friend to join you or take part in a potluck at least twice a week. A senior center or place of worship may offer meals that are shared with others. There are many ways to make mealtimes pleasing. Continue reading
Ham is the traditional Easter main course, unless you’re going to an Easter buffet with your family and have miles of different foods to choose from.
Beware the salt in Easter ham
So how many calories are in that ham, or how much can you eat without ruining your calorie count on Easter? And what about the salt? Ham and salt go together because salt is used to cure and preserve ham.
Here are some differing estimates that may help you with that ham dinner. Myfitnesspal.com puts a three-ounce serving of honey baked ham, spiral cut, at a very manageable 150 calories. Three ounces is a small amount, less than a quarter of a pound, however. The quarter pounder works for McDonald’s. Maybe it can work for you, too.
But then the salt kicks in. That three-ounce portion has 960 mg of salt, or 320 mg an ounce. We need around 2000 milligrams a day and medical experts say that many of us should cut it to 1500.
Another site good on calorie matters, SparkRecipes.com, puts 5.33 ounces of ham, presumably made without the honey this time, at 337 calories but with a sodium level of 2,273.4 mg. Experts recommend that adults consume below 1500 mg of salt per day.
Maybe the idea is that Easter only comes around once a year. Enjoy some ham and be done with it. Just don’t overdo it, particularly in view of the sodium content.
I think the old saw, “All things in moderation” comes into play here. You can enjoy some ham on Easter as long as you don’t make a pig of yourself.
I stumbled on this a while back. The Portion Plate looks kind of like a kid’s plate with the illustrations on it, playing cards, a cassette a CD, a baseball, but it is for adults. The Portion Plate gives graphic demonstrations of how big a serving should be. I think it is a great idea in this world that bombards us with super-sized servings of everything and totally distorting idea of proper portion sizes. This group sees portion sizes as “contributing to the obesity epidemic and putting roughly one-third of Americans at risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and some cancers…”
I am still convinced that portion control is a key concept in controlling your weight. If you stick with these you can’t go far wrong.
I am convinced that portion control and serving size are the keys to controlling our weight and living a healthy (and long) life. Of course, we need to integrate regular exercise into the mix, too.
Also, must confess that I am an inveterate snacker. It was one of the reasons that I lost the battle of the bulge for so many years. Check out my Page – Snacking – the good, the bad and the ugly to read more on it.
Regarding the air-popped popcorn, I personally prefer regular popped corn using coconut oil. Just don’t go crazy on the quantity. Check out my post – How healthy is popcorn(?) for the details.
I posted on hummus a while back : Is hummus good for you?
Finally, check out Healthy snacking as an act of kindness.
Eat less; move more; live longer.
We really do have to use our heads when we decide to eat out. Some chains’ offerings make a joke out of our attempts at portion control.
One Chain’s Burger Platter Has Nearly 3,000 Calories and 10,000 Milligrams of Sodium
Perhaps you’ve eaten a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Picture having a second one. And a third. And then a fourth. Along with two medium orders of fries doused with a combined 18 packets of salt. For most people, that’s unthinkable. At Uno Pizzeria & Grill, it’s lunch: The chain’s Whole Hog Burger has hamburger, sausage, bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, four types of cheese, garlic mayo, and pickles and comes with fries and onion rings. All told it’s more than a day’s worth of calories (2,850), three days’ worth of saturated fat (62 grams), and six days’ worth of sodium (9,790 milligrams).
That burger is just one of nine recipients of the 2016 Xtreme Eating Awards—conferred annually by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and published in its Nutrition Action Healthletter. Far from doing their part to reverse the obesity epidemic, America’s chain restaurants are pouring gasoline on the fire, crossing fried chicken and waffles with Eggs Benedict, merging cheeseburgers and egg rolls, and repurposing macaroni and cheese as a sandwich filling. Continue reading
This post demonstrates the difficulty of trying weight control without the proper tools. For my money the number one tool in weight control is portion control and its corollary serving size. These are absolutes that can be followed by anyone willing to put in the effort.
Check out the following for more details on portion control
How to lose weight using portion control
Serving size and portion control – Keys to weight loss
A fresh look at portion control and portion distortion
How to lose weight using portion control
Focus on food safety
Pizza size is all in the eye of the beholder (Photo: Valerio Capello).
In 1978, I visited the USA with two colleagues on a mission to study meat quality. After travelling by car for many hours to reach Texas we got very hungry and stopped at a pizza joint in Oklahoma. We had a choice of small, medium, large and very large pizzas. We settled on one medium each as one should eat in moderation, but huge pizzas each covering half of the table arrived. We couldn’t even eat half of the pizzas.
This highlights that there is no universal measure of eating in moderation.
What is moderation?
Eating in moderation seems to be practical advice for a healthy diet, but a new study suggests that it is an ineffective guide for losing or maintaining weight. The scientists found that the more people liked a food, the more flexible their definitions of moderation were. And who…
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Unfortunately, our ‘bargain-hunting’ hard-wiring seeks out large portions in restaurants, in a vain quest for the ‘most for my money.’
You’ve heard of ‘win-win.’ Well this is ‘win-lose.’ Getting too much food can be costly to our health not to mention our waistline, despite appearing to be a financial bargain.
Professional chefs regularly offer restaurant goers steaks double the size recommended by the USDA.
The more successful you are at finding an eating place with huge portions, the more difficulty you will have keeping control of your weight and waistline. We all need to rethink the situation. Pigging out at a low price doesn’t make our trip to dine out a success. We need to start thinking in terms of the nutritional quality of our food not just the quantity. Continue reading
My main focus is living a healthy life and exercising regularly. Paying attention to what I eat is a primary tool and one of the best techniques for this is paying attention to portion control and serving size. I truly don’t try to lose weight. I have been within five pounds of 155 for the past eight years.
If you are overweight, you can use the portion control tool to jump start your weight loss efforts.
This was my idea of a ‘serving’ of pasta. No wonder I was always overweight.
Over the course of the past couple of years, I have found out how very much I didn’t know about the subject. When we started the blog, I began reading about various weight loss techniques. One of the first I encountered was portion control and serving size. I was already counting calories, but I had no feeling at all for portion control. My idea of one serving was the amount I would serve myself. For example, pasta. I love pasta and eat it regularly. Prior to working on the blog, my idea of a serving of pasta was a plateful of it. (See photo).
One of the first and most important lessons I learned about weight control was Portion Size. Until I understood portion and serving size, I had no idea how to control my weight. I thought a serving of pasta was a heaping plate full. As you can see from the illustration, that is a far cry from accurate. Once you get a handle on how much food is a correct portion, you will be on your way to controlling your weight.
An example of portion size and serving size is the old bag of chips example. You pick up a bag of potato chips. Because you are paying attention to your weight, you check the calories on the back. It says something like 150 calories per serving. Not bad … but wait
weight. A serving is one ounce. The bag weighs three ounces. So, you need to limit yourself to a third of the chips. Use a food scale, or your eye, or count them out, but if you eat the whole bag, you will consume 450 calories, not the 150 serving size. That’s how you combine serving size and portion size.
I hope you will take the time to study this infographic. There are loads of fascinating and useful facts and observations in it.
In my battle of the bulge, I found serving size and portion control to be the keys to my victory. Once you take charge of how much you are consuming, the battle is won. To continue on to robust good health, of course, you need to add regular exercise, too.
If you click on the illustration, you get an enlarged picture.
One picture is worth a thousand words department. A look at how portion sizes have ballooned since the ’50s gives us a clue as to why 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese. Don’t let fast food portion sizes torpedo your weight control efforts. Eat less; move more.
The graph and proportions are dramatic. Make sure you notice how the figures on the bottom have also expanded.
In my weight control experience, portion control and serving size are key concepts. To read further on portion control and serving size, check out my Page – How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off.
Sometimes seeing a simple list can clarify a situation.
If you consider yourself one of the 60 per cent of us who are overweight, you might enjoy this:
Regular readers know that I used to be overweight with a lot of bad eating habits. At my worst, I weighed over 220 pounds with a waistline of at least 44 inches. You can read how I made my first big successful swipe at that problem in How I lost 50 pounds in 52 weeks.
The past nearly eight years of writing this blog has raised my level of awareness into the stratosphere as far as weight control and healthy eating are concerned. But I always go back to the first principles of portion control and serving size. Tufts offers some super suggestions that will bolster your weight loss efforts going forward.
Below are a few tips to ensure that you’re eating the right portion amounts:
– Most restaurant portion sizes are at least double or triple the portion you should be eating. As soon as your meal arrives, cut it in half and box up the other half. Take it home to have for lunch the next day.
– Serve food on small plates. Instead of using a dinner plate, substitute a luncheon plate or a salad plate.
- When eating at home, put a small portion of food on your plate, and keep the rest of the food in the kitchen. Then, if you want to eat more, you’ll have to get up to get it.
– Read food labels. When a package says that it contains more than one serving, measure out one serving into a separate dish.
- Avoid eating in front of the TV or while reading. Instead, focus on the tastes, textures, and aromas of your food. This can keep you from mindlessly munching your way to the bottom of a bowl of popcorn or bag of chips.
– Listen to your body’s hunger cues. Pay attention to feelings of hunger and fullness.
This last point is excellent. Don’t eat for reasons other than hunger. A pint or Rocky Road ice cream will not solve your emotional turmoil.
For more information on the connection between the heart and brain, consider purchasing Heart-Brain Diet: Essential Nutrition for Healthy Longevity by Tufts Medical Report.
I have written further on portion control: A fresh look at portion control and portion distortion, How to Use Portion Control in Weight Loss and Maintenance, Get A Food Scale for Portion Control, Dining Out Portion Control Tricks from Weight Watchers, From “The Portion Teller.”
I know this comes as no surprise to regular readers, but I have stumbled upon yet another tasty and healthy treat at Costco. This time it is the “Trek Mix.” Like the Clif Mojo Bars I wrote up not long ago, these also boast a sweet and salty taste. I guess that is the new trend – both sweet and salty.
I was impressed at the quality of the ingredients. This is directly from the package- “Kirkland Signature Trek Mix contains the following quality ingredients: Chocolate Chips that are made from 51 percent cacao, real vanilla, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and a delicious chia cinnamon granola cluster.”
I don’t know if that sounds good to you, but my girlfriend and I opened the package and started eating them on the drive home from Costco. They were that good.
Here is the nutritional breakdown:
One 30 gram, 1/4 cup, one ounce serving provides
Total Fat 9 grams
Saturated Fat 2 grams
No trans fat or cholesterol
Sodium 20 mg
Total carbohydrate 15 grams
Dietary fiber 2 grams
Protein 4 grams
I can attest to the taste. These are delicious. We had to finally close up the bag for fear of wrecking our appetities before dinner. I was particularly impressed with the meager amount of sodium – only 20 mgs. It seems to me that everything I eat these days has at least 1000 mg of sodium. High salt/sodium intake is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults stay under 1500 mg of sodium per day, and never take in more than 2,300 mg a day.
As always you are invited to share your experience with these snacks.
To read further on the subject of snacks, I invite you to check out my Page – Snacking – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.