I decided today to revisit the shocking fact that most of us don't understand what a serving size is. We Americans are eating double to triple the amount of food that constitutes a serving. To put this in perspective, did you know that a 1/2 cup of cooked pasta is considered a serving size? Picture a 1/2 cup - like the size of the round part of a light bulb. And how about white rice? Only 1/3 cup of cooked rice is considered a serving size! When was the last time you ate a bagel? A bagel today is 4-5 servings of carbohydrates! No wonder 1 in 3 Americans is obese. We just don't have the knowledge.
Here is an easy way to remember serving sizes:
- 1 cup = baseball;
- 1/2 cup = light bulb;
- 1 oz. or 2 tbsp.= golf ball;
- 1 tbsp.= poker chip;
- 3 oz. = deck of cards.
To keep track of your caloric intake, you want to have a general idea of what your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) is. For me, at 5'9" and roughly 130 pounds, my RMR is around 1751 kcals. If I exercise, I can add to that number. From there, you can figure out the percentage of carbs, protein and fats that you want to eat during the day. I like to do 63% carbs, 12% protein and 25% fat. This comes out to 276 grams or approximately 16-19 light bulbs of carbs (4 kcals per gram and 15 grams or 80 kcals per serving), approximately 53 grams or 2-3 decks of cards of protein (4 kcals per gram and 7 grams per serving and 3 ounces per gram), and 49 grams or 8-10 poker chips of fat (9 kcals per gram and 5 grams per serving).
For fun, let's put it together by using my caloric intake and expenditure so far for today, keeping in mind that certain carbs are going to "use up" more servings:
- Breakfast - Starbucks coffee cake and Venti coffee. That's a lot of fat and carbs - probably 2-3 servings of carbs and maybe 5 servings of fat?
- Lunch - Baggins Unforgettable sandwich and large iced tea - 2 slices of bread + avocado and other stuff and turkey meat - maybe 4-5 servings of carbs, 4 servings of fat and 1-2 servings of protein?
- Snack - 1 large apple - 2 servings of carbs (a small apple is a serving).
So, with this rough estimation, I have approximately 8 servings of carbs, a serving of protein and very little fat left for the day. But, I ran and did a TRX workout, which came to 823 kcals. Fortunately, I can still enjoy myself tonight. It really all comes down to what weight you'd like to maintain.
|1 oz. or 2 tbsp. of fat is the size of a golf ball|
Comana, Fabio. "Tap Into Your Fat Burn." IDEA Health & Fitness Association.
Josephson, Scott. "The Power of Eating Right." 2017 IDEA Personal Training West.