portion controls (of the food we eat at meals)

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Lanie G
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 6030
   Posted 1/10/2008 7:10 PM (GMT -7)   
We've talked about this before as part of other threads but I thought it's worth giving it its own dedicated topic.  Has anyone noticed that restaurants serve larger portions on their plates?  And that bagels are larger than years ago?  Soda bottles have more ounces.  (Remember the cute glass Coke bottles?  How many ounces were they?)  Everything seems to be supersized.  "All you can eat"  buffets - as if we were starved or eating our last meal on earth.  Desserts are larger when ordered in restaurants than one person can eat.  Somehow we've been attacked by an unknown enemy to make us eat more and I do believe it's working.  How do you control your food portions?  Do you measure them out? 
forum moderator - diabetes
diabetes controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 1/11/2008 8:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I do weigh out my food on a precision digital lab balance- I have 2 calibrated sets of measuring cups, and measuring spoons (one for the road when I travel, one for my kitchen). I have always weighed out my flour, sugar etc when I bake. Even as a kid, I could see that different tupperware measruing cups held differnt amounts. I can eyeball stuff on a plate fairly well- but it's easy to be deceived because of plate size and color.
And being a scientist- I just love accurate data.....
I also have a collection of Coke bottles and Coca Cola thingies. My earliest bottles are 6 oz, later 8 oz. I have 4 ounce cans from China ( fairly recent- about 12 years ago- sent by a missionary friend)
My favorite pre-diagnosis Italian restaurant served up an eggplant parm that weighed 3 pounds along side 6 measured cups of angel hair pasta, a 2 cups of  salad, and a basket of garlic bread that was really their stellar crust broiled in butter and covered with garlic salt.... for $5.95 before 7PM. We won't even talk about the cannoli and tiramisu.
great thread
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett

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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 1/11/2008 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I use the 'protein portion the size of the palm of my hand' measurement and to that add all the veggies I want, even if they are sautéed in oil, and a fruit portion about the size of my fist. My hunger level has dropped since I left the starches behind so I have to remind myself to eat on a regular basis.

I always start a buffet with a clear soup to slow my appetite and load up on veggies ahead of the meats. In restaurants I always order water.

When eating something like chili or stew I usually consume about a one cup portion (no crackers or dumplings!) and call it good. I've had great control with this process and my numbers have improved steadily as I've lost weight and cut back on meds. For me, it all seems to revolve around my weight level and carbs. I wonder how it is for others?
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 1/11/2008 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I think I'm a control freak.

I do all the cooking round here because I can control all the ingredients and the portion sizes. It works for me. I've never weighed or measured my food though. Frankly the variables involved in insulin absorbtion and timing make that level of precision a bit unrealistic I feel. I do have problems knowing when to stop eating though. If I make large dishes for people to share at dinner parties for example, I know I'll struggle to stop eating in time. I'll just keep going till it's all gone. I never understood how people could leave food on their plate because they suddenly felt full. I sometimes have to wait 20-30 minutes after I've eaten before I feel the urge to eat subside.

I agree with you completely about the hunger levels Jeannie. Now that I've cut out the carbs, I'm not nearly as hungry before meals as I used to be before I went low-carb. Now that I'm less hungry when I eat, that makes overdoing it much less of a problem. I think part of our eating behaviour relates to an instinctive urge to insure ourselves against hunger. But if it's carbohydrate you're eating, it can exaggerate the problem rather than solve it. Meat, fish, dairy and vegetables do a much better job in my opinion.

As for the all you can eat buffets, that's a real disaster area. My 6 year old, learning to read, thought the signs said 'Eat all you can' which is more of a challenge than an offer, but one that lots of people are prepared to take on. Nooooooooo!


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 1/11/2008 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
At home I've found it helpful to not use dinner plates. I have fairly decent size salad plates so I use those for my main meal and only fill it once (using the word fill loosely) and use a small cereal bowl for salad. That way I can have more salad than I would if it was also on the plate. When we go out to eat I just try to stick with meat and salad. So far, so good. Oh, and most of the cooking we are doing these days comes from low carb cookbooks and I try to follow the portion size it calls far. Sandy, thanks for the recommendation of "The Carb War". I love that book. Really yummy recipes and great resources. And since the author is from my neck of the woods, I am able to find most of the ingredients easily.
~Forum Moderator/Diabetes~

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 1/11/2008 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks- my copy is already dog-eared and I just got it before Thanksgiving- many of the recipes are easily adapted to my veggie meat substitutes. Even my picky daughter at them when she was home at Christmas.
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 401
   Posted 1/12/2008 12:08 AM (GMT -7)   
gelchick, what do you eat in place of meat? I just don't like meat very much. I love cheese and veggies but you can't only eat that, right? I need to stay very low carb though so chock down meat, I don't know how much longer I can do this. Staying low carb has me with a low of 87 and a high of 107 today. Do I need the meat? Thanks:)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 1/12/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   

I understand your pain- fergusc and I had a discussion about meat eating a couple of weeks ago- and although I can intellectually convince myself that it might be the easier way to go- my teeth just will not cooperate, and my research background tells me that there is no difference in the chemical structure of a lysine molecule that comes from a soybean or that comes from an animal. Your body uses it the same- so there is no true biochemical reason to dine on steak rather than tofu.....the problem is that plants other than soybeans tend to be weak in one or more of the essential amino acids- so a variety must be eaten- and that can get you into carb trouble if you are choosing grains rather than veggies. Okay enough of the biochem lecture.

I get plenty of protein- I eat tofu, seitan (made from the protein- not the starchy part of high gluten flour- if you have celiac's disease- this is not for you though), edamame, tofu shirataki noodles, soy milk (unsweetened), and limited amounts of soy meat analogs (such as Boca burgers, Morningstar farms crumbles). My weakness is Yves brand Veggie Dogs -

I use texturized vegetable protein (TVP) in soups and chili. I eat low glycemic index beans and legumes - lentils, chana dal, black soybeans, black beans, garbanzos- lots of protein + B vitamins which I need since metformin depletes B vitamins.

I eat Quorn products - roast, naked cutlets - they are made from a mushroom protein- and taste very much look and taste like chicken (I sub them in chicken type recipes) - I served this to my husband's boss and his family and they thought it was Amish grown chicken (I got the cheese and their breakfast bacon at my local Amish market- they just assumed-I didn't tell them otherwise) and got a request for the recipe-lol

I eat tree nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts) and make my own nut butters from them, and use limited amounts of peanut butter (don't like it much) for sauces.

I use low carb dairy - greek style yogurt (6 gm carb/22 gm protein per cup), Hood low carb milk, hard cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, feta, cream cheese

I use Dreamfield's pasta 5 net carbs/serving -contains fiber and protein.

I use whey and soy 'protein' powders. GNC makes unsweetened, plain varieties - I sprinkle them into casseroles and soups (you can't taste them- but the protein content is upped).

I eat limited amounts of egg (again- I don't like the smell or taste of eggs much), meringue powder (pure egg white albumen- the protein part).

Many veggies contain protein-

I don't suffer. I am lazy and would like to be able to put a piece of meat and a pile of broccoli on my plate and be done with it some days- but I don't seem to be able to get past the issues I raised with Fergus.

FYI: There are vegetarian, low carb cookbooks on the market- I can send you a list of the ones I have if you're interested. They tend to focus on the meat replacement products- so I only find them of limited value, but I'd be happy to share. I'm gelchick at gmail dot com

(Sandy, not trying to be a buttinsky here but I wanted to shield your email addy from the spambots. At any given moment there can be upwards of 150 spambots searching our site to harvest email addresses.)

Post Edited By Moderator (Jeannie143) : 1/13/2008 4:07:18 PM (GMT-7)

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