To wrap up our September series on risk vs reward, we needed and wanted to talk about tracking your food. It can be a great tool, but it can also fuck you up. So LEGGO!
THE BENEFITS OF WEIGHING YOUR FOOD
- It helps with portion control. When you’re learning how to eat the suggested size portions, it’s super important to drive home how much of whatever is actually in a serving. There are a bunch of things you can do to work on proper portion control, but today we are focusing just on weighing your food. Again, a serving of coffee creamer is muuuch smaller than you think it is.
- Learning portion control is paramount. There is a lot of data that says if you’re offered a larger portion size, you’ll eat it. So don’t do it. Portion distortion, we’ve covered it before, it’s a big issue in the US of A.
- It’s step one of setting the footing of your nutrition castle. You’ve heard the cliche, “You can’t outrun your fork,” well it’s fucking true. You have to eat with intention if you’re going to be busting your ass in the gym.
- If you don’t like weighing your food, that’s okay! You have other options, we’re gonna cover some of those at the end of the episode. If you need recs for a food scale, hit up our Amazon store at meathead test kitchen dot com, we’ve got our favorite one up there, and it’s like maybe $15 tops.
THE RISKS OF TRACKING FOOD
- The number one risk of tracking your food is becoming obsessed and flirting with disordered eating. We don’t want that. If you have a history of disordered eating, you should be consulting your therapist and doctor before doing anything where you’re going to work with controlled portion sizes.
- We’ve both flirted with this issue, if this happens to you, it’s time to go on a maintenance phase and again, talk to your therapist and doctor. You don’t want to fuck with disordered eating. We can’t reiterate that enough.
- Intuitive eating can come into play now that you’re over weighing your food, it’s basically using all of your newly-acquired food measuring spidey senses to eat the foods that make sense when you’re hungry.
- Intuitive eating is not a “fuck it” button where you just go back to eating whatever, you still eat with intention to progress your goals, but you’re a little more loose with the portion guidelines.
- There are 10 basic goals of intuitive eating:
- Reject Diet Mentality
- Honor your hunger
- Make peace with food
- Challenge the food police
- Discover the satisfaction factor
- Feel your fullness
- Cope with your emotions with kindness
- Respect your body
- Movement – feel the difference
- Honor your health – gentle nutrition
- This is the ultimate goal. You want to learn how to do this shit for life, so practice up with your scale and test your portion guessing skills from time to time, you’ll be an ace at figuring out how much rice is on your plate in no time.
- It can interfere with easy daily stuff like going out for lunch… if you don’t wanna weigh your chipotle out at the table, maybe use the hand measure method on those days.
- OR you can also eat half of your serving and save the rest for lunch tomorrow. If you’re super hungry, have the full serving but if you’re going to track it just be aware that a lot of times portions at a restaurant are larger and have more calories than what you’re probably going to find in a tracking app or according to the nutrition list provided. I usually will add 25% more if I’m tracking to cover for that.
IF WEIGHING AND TRACKING DOESN’T WORK FOR YOU:
- You’ve got options.
- You can use the hand measure method: palm sized protein, fist sized serving of veggies, a cupped hand is a serving of carbs, and a serving of fats is about the size of your thumb.
- You can also use household objects to estimate the portion size of your food: fruits and veggies are about the size of a baseball, a seving of carbs is about the size of a hockey puck, protein is a deck of cards, fats are the size of dice.
- Remember that once you practice the portion sizes it sticks with you and you naturally will nail it more often than not!