I've spent altogether tooooooo much time online this week between deodorant and trying to figure out what decent food portions should be. I think I've solved my deodorant problem, so now it's on to portion control. It seems that for as many types of diet plans there are out there, each has their own idea of how much of this and that a person should eat. I read one plan yesterday that was fruit based and for breakfast the meal was 12 peaches, lunch was 7 bananas and then eat a big salad and another piece of fruit for dinner. It touted weight loss and ease of elimination. Really? If I ate that much produce everyday, the only elimination problem I would have is that I would have to eliminate my life because I would have to live on the toilet! =) I don't think so!
Anyway, I've decided that if everyone else can make up their own rules for portion control/number of servings, then I can too. In my opinion, I am using the best of the plans I've seen and adding a little common sense. Now, this will not completely apply to the daycare kids. State licensing requires that I serve a certain amount of certain food at each meal. Given that, I will do this for my family and to the extent I am able without breaking the rules with the daycare kids. To start with, this is my plan (daycare guidelines in bold). If I find that it isn't working, I can always change it.
Breakfast: Protein, whole grain and a piece of fruit (grain, fruit/veggie, milk)
Morning Snack: veggie and/or protein (not required)
Lunch: protein, whole grain, 2 veggies, fruit (protein, grain, 2 servings in any combination fruit/veggie, milk)
Afternoon snack: fruit/veggie if we will be eating early or protein if we are eating late (2 food groups-usually something and milk, because they already have a cup)
Dinner: protein, whole grain, 2 veggies
After dinner snack: fruit or treat
Snacks are optional. I will really encourage the kids to only eat if they are hungry and the serving size will vary depending on the meal and time. For example the protein in the morning snack could be a couple teaspoons of peanut butter to eat with some carrots and the whole grain at breakfast is likely to be a slice of toast or one tortilla to make an breakfast sandwich/burrito.
How does this differ from the food pyramid that we know and love?
For an adult with a 2000 calorie diet (that's the Pyramid guideline). I'm sure my caloric intake will vary.
Grains: Pyramid-6 oz. My plan-4 oz.
Veggies: Pyramid-2.5 cups My plan-2.5-3 cups
Fruits: Pyramid-2 cups My plan-1.5-2 cups
Milk: Pyramid-3 cups daily My plan-1-1.5 cups (we will not be drinking milk-this will be in yogurt, cheese, sour cream, so actually 1.5 cups is really on the high side)
Meat & Beans: Pyramid-5.5 oz. daily My plan-6-8 oz. depending on if a protein is part of the snacks or not
Oils: Pyramid-use sparingly My plan-I'll use them as I have been and not go overboard, but not cut back either.
Now, I don't have the time to calculate each meal every time, so my way of knowing that we are following the plan is to really limit the grains and only one of whatever it is. I would think that Hubby could still have secondsor a larger serving of the protein at our evening meal without wrecking the whole thing. I just have to keep him away from the soda and candy bars.
I also plan to up our activity level. In fact, I think that will be next week's challenge. We only have one more volleyball game, so the other nights we can take a walk or I can take the kids to the "greenway" (our public walking path) and they can ride their scooters. The oldest really wants to play volleyball for the school come fall, so this summer I really want to work on increasing her upper body strength or she has no prayer of serving over-hand.
Will this work? I don't know. But, I figure that if we all start gaining weight, feel sluggish, have digestional problems, or whatever, then I can change it. The whole plan can't be any more harmful than a diet of processed, HFCS filled, GMO-laden junk which is what I started out with several years ago.
Oh, and I think that as soon as we get the dinner plates fixed, I am going to put away the protein and grain item. If Hubby and the girls want seconds, they can have veggies. Hopefully that will increase the amount of leftovers we have, so Hubby will always have something to take the next day and leave out the option of McDonald's.
What do you think? I am completely open to comments and constructive criticism. This is definitely a work in progress that I hope others could benefit from too.