With New Year’s in the rearview mirror and winter here in full force, it’s likely that you’re looking forward to warmer summer months and starting to weigh whether your resolutions to eat better and lose weight are starting to pay off.
If the numbers on the scale aren’t quite adding up with your level of effort, there’s likely a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy between your action and your results, especially if you’ve been logging your food intake and/or counting calories or macros.
While it may seem like a laughably simple fix, many consumers give the nutritional information label on product packaging a cursory glance before logging and serving their food.
Are Portion Sizes Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Results?
Very few of us actually take the time to note calories, portion size, and number of servings; even fewer take the time to actually measure out an appropriate portion sizes using measuring cups and spoons or a food scale.
Although we’d like to think we’re good at eyeballing portion sizes, very few of us actually are.
Studies have consistently shown that portion distortion is one of the largest factors in the obesity epidemic. As we become accustomed to larger and larger serving sizes, we become dissatisfied with appropriate portion sizes and have a hard time gauging how much to serve ourselves.
Compounding matters, the size of bowls, plates, mugs, and drinking glasses have grown larger in recent decades.
We tend to use vessel size to determine how much we will serve ourselves, making decisions based on the visual cue of plate, bowl, or cup size.
If your scale has stalled out or you’re not seeing the degree of progress you’d like, commit to using product packaging, a food scale, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and an old-fashioned paper food log for a week or two to see if your rate of weight loss increases.
Is Your Fitness Tracking Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Results?
Oftentimes, this simple exercise is incredibly eye opening.
If you use an online nutrition tracking tool like MyFitnessPal or other nutrition apps to check calories and serving size, it’s important to note that many apps and websites generate information based on user uploaded data.
This data is often inaccurate and can lead to further discrepancies in your logging, which is why product packaging from your food and an old-fashioned log is often of greater benefit than an app.
If you’re consuming foods that don’t have a nutritional information label, consider using the food composition database from the USDA, which offers accurate nutritional information for thousands of foods and is far less prone to error.