Probably the most earth-shattering lesson most over-weight monkeys learn, when they try to lose weight, is portion control. What you may think is a portion and what a restaurant sells as a portion is far from reality. The number one tool I have is my little digital scale, which I can switch from pounds to grams with a touch. Weigh out 56 grams of pasta, cook it up and see if it is what you’d normally serve yourself!
If you are like we were, you are in for a shock! We’d take a box of linguine cooked and then tossed with good olive oil, a huge piece of grilled salmon broken up, with a small bag of frozen peas, a chopped vidalia onion and a generous dusting of very good imported freshly shaved parmesan with an excellent glass of red wine. Look Ma! No salt, all organic, wild-caught and totally good-for-you! We’d fill a pasta bowl and curl up in front of the TV or out on the deck and enjoy. OMG, we’d say and pour a second glass. Later, we’d bemoan the fact that we took seconds and talk about how good it was, the pairings, the fresh flavor, on and on until we felt vindicated by our excellent skills. Any lingering doubts were absolved by more wine and the fact that we aren’t eating from a MacDonald’s bag! (We never liked Micky D’s, so it was especially lame) Oh and don’t forget, if you run or work out, you can always remind yourself that pasta is the energy-maker for marathoners… yes, it all did sound better over wine.
So, Weight Watchers and the Biggest Loser and DrO and friend MissO will shock you over the actual calorie total here, which can be easily over a millenium, per serving! But, fear not! You have a 1500 cal figure in you head; which, you will somehow justify by remembering you skipped breakfast and had a salad for lunch. Then the carb nazis will chime-in but we are already used to ignoring them!
Then you may wonder, WTF is a portion? and why is it a one size fits all thing?
There are many good web sites and pages on sizes of portions, I love the size of your hand or a deck of cards… I find it way easier to get a friggin digital scale. I also bake bread, so the scale is invaluable for making lovely baguettes time after time. So, that it. All this verbiage to say Get a Scale! That doesn’t mean it’s easy, it’s just the tool I need most. After all we are foodies, not fast food junkies! I will post how to weigh properly soon! But, if you need more logic:
Under lessons I learned from my dog: one size does not fit all. We adopted a gaggle of siberian huskies. All but the little splat, who was hiding in his pregnant mother were abused. Before long, we had a selection of dog foods -high energy salmon, low calorie for Ms Fatty, Immune Booster for the malnurished Mom and of course, puppy chow. We were still recovering from the shock of losing an awesome cat from Chinese plastic cat food a few years earlier. I began researching raw feeding our dogs. As a biologist the biology and the science made sense, the cult-like attitude of devotees was a bit off-putting but we are lapsed Catholics and we were okay with turning a blind ear on fanatics.
I had my research thoroughly in my head when we began. Each dog got a different amount of meat based on their normal weight. Each dog needed fat, since Siberians were bred for thousands of years in Siberia, the last hundred here wasn’t long enough to change their genes. We had to supplement with organ meats, so I’d pick up chicken livers and gizzards. Within a week, they changed. No more vomit incidents, no more itching, no more eat grass and throw up, no more diarrhea and amazing small poo that turned into white powder after a few days! They were happy and healthy.
So, I wondered if Mukki gets 1.5 lb, Talat 1 lb, Lulu 1.25 lbs. and puppy Quinn 1.75 lbs; why are we weighing and eating the portions written on the box of pasta? I am 5’2″ and R is 6’3. Why is it so important to acknowledge the size of a dog but not us?
So, I decided that R gets 1.5 servings of protein and veg but 1 serving of carbs. I get 1 serving or less of carb and .75 servings of carb. Luckily most veg and lettuce are portion-free in my world.