Portion sizes

Further to yesterdays’ post ‘Four days in – Weight Watchers‘ I was determined to start the day with a ‘good’ breakfast, rather than grabbing some toast and jam as I’ve done throughout the week.

I decided that porridge was the thing and better than this I thought I’d weigh my porridge and only eat the recommended amount (40g).  I’m sure as I’m dieting I should have actually had less than this, but one step at a time…. As I put my oats into the pan I wasn’t hugely enthused about the tiny portion, but I optimistically hoped that the porridge would bulk up as it cooked.  Alas, whilst the oats grew a little, the end result didn’t seem like much to me so I threw in half a banana, some frozen berries, a spoonful of yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup (very pimped porridge).  At just six WW SmartPoints this is by far the ‘best’ breakfast I’ve had this week.

Cue the lightbulb moment, could my weight ‘problem’ possibly be down to my portion sizes??  Of course I am being flippant, it has crossed my mind more than once that I eat far too much, especially for my main meal where I almost roll away from the table sometimes.  However, just as I know that I drink too much at the weekends I haven’t been that keen to do much about it.

Our portion sizes have grown over the years for a number of reasons:

  • Empty nest syndrome – when my son left for university five years ago, and then stayed in London once he’d graduated, we continued to cook for four (I know, I know there were only ever three of us but recipes are always for four!).  From what I hear this is not uncommon.
  • Half marathon training – when I was really into my running and training for half marathons I was pretty much able to eat what I want and never put on weight, admittedly I never really lost any either.  When I stopped running due to injury I didn’t stop the marathon eating and on came the pounds – again a pretty common occurrence I believe.
  • Slimming World – when I was twenty I lost six stone by calorie counting, the only time I’ve ever been a ‘normal’ weight during adulthood and my only truly attempt at weight loss.  I started an office job and on came the pounds which I tried to shift with more calorie counting and Weight Watchers, so far so good, I wasn’t eating huge amounts.  Then about ten years ago I heard about Slimming World, a miracle diet where you could eat large amounts and still lose weight, I joined immediately and lost about 10lbs by following the guidelines (Red and Green days back then).  When I left, as I inevitably would, I ditched the guidelines on what I could eat but kept the larger portion sizes and the ‘all you can eat’ mentality – only me!
  • Socialising – when I was in my teens and twenties I socialised by going out and dancing/drinking/smoking the night away.  We might have got some chips on the way home but “eating was cheating”!  Now of course I’m not saying that this is the model for a healthy life and I am glad that the fags, at least, have now gone from my life, but compare this with my social life now which always involves copious amounts of food you get the picture.

In the back of my mind I have this notion that if I were to stick to recommended portion sizes then my weight loss would take care of itself, because I don’t feel like I make hugely unhealthy choices with my food.  I cook from scratch most evenings, unless like this week I’m really snowed under, and as a vegan I naturally cut out a lot of the nasties.  I’ll give it a go and let you know how I get on, hopefully it will help me stick to my WW SmartPoints too.

As for my weekend alcohol consumption – that’s for another day ….

Wish me luck!


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