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How much should I really eat?

You’ve heard the term before “you are what you eat,” right? While we won’t actually turn into a donut or a burger and fries, what we put into our body can affect us in more ways than one. It’s important to pay attention to what you eat and how much you eat because at the end of the day calories count. Having a healthy body is essential for longevity and who doesn’t want to live as long as possible?

To get healthy you have to start somewhere and making smart food choices is the best place to begin. Just like riding a bike, take your healthy lifestyle journey one day at a time, one meal at a time. A great way to start is by paying attention to portion size and serving size of food groups. Also, try to eat healthy 80 percent of the time and the other 20 percent can be for a special treat or “when life happens.”

In addition to recognizing portion size, your brain will begin to automatically know how much to eat without thinking and your body will become adapted to eating a certain amount of food. Eventually you will begin to eat less than you did before!

Here is a portion size guideline created by the American Heart Association to use.

Grains: ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal; 1 oz dry pasta or rice; 1 slice bread; 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal flakes

Vegetables: 1 cup equivalent of vegetables is 1 cup raw vegetable or vegetable juice, 2 cups leafy salad greens.

Fruits: 1 cup equivalent is 1 cup fruit or ½ cup of fruit juice (orange juice, etc) or 1/3 cup of a fruit juice blend.

Protein Foods (Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans and Nuts): 1 oz equivalent is 1 oz lean meat, poultry, or seafood; 2 egg whites or 1 egg; ¼ cup cooked beans; 1 Tbsp peanut butter; ½ oz unsalted nuts/ seeds.

Note that ¼ cup cooked beans = 1 oz protein equivalent but ½ cup cooked beans = 1 vegetable.

Dairy Foods (Milk, Yogurt and Cheese): 1 cup equivalent is 1 cup milk or yogurt, 1½ oz natural cheese such as cheddar cheese, or 2 oz processed cheese

Here is another way to think of it

  • One cup of raw leafy vegetables or a baked potato should be about the size of a small fist.

  • Three ounces of cooked lean meat or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards.

  • A teaspoon of soft margarine is about the size of one die.

  • An ounce and a half of fat-free or low-fat cheese is about the size of four stacked dice.

Purchasing a food scale is another great way to easily measure your foods and drinks to get a visual picture of portion size. Here are some inexpensive food scales for purchase.

If you’re struggling with your weight and overall health, and you need a little extra help and support, our experienced, licensed clinicians at Express Weight Loss Clinic can help!

They can start by prescribing FDA-approved medications that aid in suppressing your appetite or help manage or improve thyroid function.

Stop by one of our offices to see a licensed clinician or chose to see us from the comfort of your own home! Schedule an E-Visit anytime to speak with a clinician. No appointment needed to visit a local office!

Tyler Office: (903) 592-5670

Plano Office: (469) 786-1751

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