Monday, August 30, 2010

It's All About Portion Size

I've discovered that I don't have to eat "diet" food all the time. In fact, I eat "normal" food for dinner nearly all the time. I just control my portion size, and will often add extra veggies to make sure I got my veggie requirements for the day. For instance, I made stir fry tonight, and needed some extra veggies for the day, so I nuked 1/2 cup brussels sprouts to put on top of my serving of stir fry. I'm sure there are better stir fry recipes out there, in fact I know there are. But by dinner time, I often need a no-brainer when it comes to cooking, something with few ingredients and not a lot of prep. Thus, my easy stir fry recipe:

Chicken Stir Fry - recipe to feed my army
13 oz. or 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast, about 3 chicken breasts
2 16oz. bags of frozen stir fry mixes
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups water
cooked white rice (2 to 1 ratio, 2 measures of water for 1 measure of rice, then cook)
OR cooked brown rice (increase ratio to 2.5 water to 1 dry rice)

Put the 2 bags of veggies in an extra large skillet with deep sides, or in a large pot. Pour 2 cups of the water over the top and steam the veggies. Put the remaining water, the soy sauce, the brown sugar, and the cornstarch together in a bowl or measuring cup and stir together until smooth. Then pour the mixture over the veggies. Cook until the sauce thickens. Then serve it over rice.

1 cup of the stir fry mixture is 126 calories, and 1 cup cooked brown rice is 244 calories, for a total of 370 calories. Not bad for a meal, I say. And it's all about portion sizes.

And use smaller dishes! We've probably all trained ourselves to fill up our plate when it comes to dishing out food, so just change the size of your plate or bowl. You might not miss the extra food. This is how to eat ice cream:

Get yourself a cute little dish, emphasis on little (this one only holds 1/2 cup, bought it at Walmart), and fill it up with ice cream. It will come in under 200 calories, every time.

P.S. I wrote a post about this three years ago, if it interests you. See what I mean, Cammy, about building up muscle when you are working on change? I've been putting the pieces together for years, in this long process of change.


  1. Becky,

    I'm a firm believer in those little glass prep bowls as portion controllers too. And using bread/butter plates and downsizing all cups and bowls. And that stir fry no brainer dinner sounds yummy.

  2. That cute little bowl for ice cream is just perfect!

  3. That is so perfect Becky! It helps to not always have to measure, but just knowing!

  4. Dessert plate + small half cup bowl + drinking two glasses of water before every meal guarantees you'll eat less calories, maybe even the amount that you should be eating.

  5. I'm the queen of small bowls to eat not only cereal but ice cream in. I read your post earlier today but tonight it came back to my mind when my boys who were getting some ice cream for the night were going crazy over the little bowls I had used. The both of course asked for more ice cream which I obliged, little do they know they still probably had less than 1/2 cup and I'm super mom for the night