“For many years, my formula has been to love yourself, move your body and to watch portion size. But the No. 1 thing is to love and value yourself, no matter what you’ve been through.” -Richard Simmons

“I lost about 60 pounds. I don’t really have a moment specifically that made me do it. I remember little things, like, when I was in Japan, I remember looking around at the portion sizes of a fast food restaurant and being like, ‘Well, this has something to do with it.’ Americans definitely eat too much.”- Patrick Stumph

“You Are What You Eat.  So, don’t be cheap, fast, easy, or fake” -Unknown

In the last few years, portion sizes have exploded at home and when eating out.  What used to be a large is now a medium.  What used to be a extra large is now a large.  Larger portion sizes have become the norm. And, no one is complaining. Bigger is always better, right?  We get more food and enjoy the tastes and comforts to our heart’s content.  Sometimes, prices do not change much year over year.  However, our waist lines tell a different story.  More people are overweight or obese than ever before.  Growing of serving sizes are part of the blame.

I remember when a medium drink at a fast food place was 20 ounces.  That was reasonable.  A medium was just enough refreshment without over doing it.  However, I have been surprised when a “medium” drink comes out looking like a big gulp!  Even so, drinks are not the only culprits.  In the food world, big is always better right?  Why order a single burger when you can order a double bacon cheeseburger instead?  Why order a value small fry when you can choose a large?  The temptation is there.  But, you’re smarter than that.  The best way to begin losing weight is to choose to focus on smaller portion sizes.

Instead of using the mantra “go big or go home”, focus on “eat small, be small.”  Food will always be available to us.  There is no need to think this is the last meal we will eat.  Choose small portions of tasty and nutritious foods.  Over time, the weight will begin to drop off like you envisioned.  Typically, here are some great serving size recommendations:

-Grains & Starchy vegetables= 3/4-1 cup of whole grain breads, oatmeal, brown rice, whole barley, potatoes, corn, squash, beans, etc.
-Fruit= 1 whole fruit or 1/2 cup: Apples, bananas, oranges, berries, melons, pears, etc.
-Dairy= 1 cup: Low fat milk, low fat yogurt, low fat cheese, soy milk
-Non starchy vegetables= 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw: Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, greens, peppers, tomatoes, etc.
-Protein= 3-4 ounces: lean beef, chicken, fish, pork, seafood, eggs, peanut butter, etc.

 Or, if you are more of a visual person than a numbers person, consider these: 
 -1 serving cheese= 4 dice
-1 serving of meat= a deck of cards or the palm of your hand
-1 serving of peanut butter= the tip of your thumb
-1 serving of uncooked greens= 1 baseball
-1 serving of whole grains/ starch= 1/2 baseball
-1 serving of whole grain bread= 1 CD disc
-1 serving of nuts= 1 handful

In order to accelerate and maintain weight loss, focus on smaller portions.  Even cutting down to half of normal will bring positive results over time.  As Always, Eat, Move, and Improve!

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