Dr. Fuhrman Dr. Fuhrman

Portion control revisited

french fries

According to a new report from the FDA Americans consume 300 calories a day more than 15 years ago. A third of all calories is consumed outside the home. The report sees the huge portions in fast food restaurants as a major contributor to obesity. A Big Mac, medium Coke and large fries from McDonald's contain a total of 1,340 calories. Add a milk shake, and you get over the amount a slim woman needs to eat in an entire day!

You may think, like I did: this has nothing to do with me. You know eating fast food is bad for you and you do not eat it. The lesson still is important though. I always thought I knew approximately how many calories I take in each day. I do not meticulously track everything anymore; I just know how much I eat. Or so I thought. Yesterday, I calculated the amount of calories in a slice of homemade bread with cashew butter and banana, and I was shocked. One slice was 400 calories. I can easily eat that, plus a piece of fruit and a salad with nuts in one meal and never realized the amount of calories I was eating. I guess I am still far away from knowing my body well enough to really feel when I have had enough.

If you are at a weight loss plateau or if you have difficulty staying at your target weight it may be a good idea to honestly assess how much you are really eating each day. Even too many healthy foods do add up and contribute to weight gain. Particularly if you are a small woman, you do not need many calories at all to maintain your weight.

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June 5, 2006