Nov 12, 2009

TOT Thursday - Weights and measures

A few weeks ago I mentioned how changing your portion size can not only reduce your food budget (by eating closer to correct portions your food will go further) but also reduce your waistline, especially if you're in the habit of filling up that giant dinner plate! But it's hard to eyeball a correct meat portion until you've seen the actual accurate size many times.

How can you make your meat purchase go further this week?

Invest in a food scale!

According to the USDA's food pyramid guidelines, women should consume about 5 1/2 oz of meat/protein daily, while men should consume about 6 1/2 oz. Consider that most restaurants serve up between 3/4 and a full pound of meat, and even at home we're making one full chicken breast (8 oz) for a's a reality check! If you're serving protein twice a day, your meat portion should be three ounces at each meal. THREE OUNCES! The eyeball measurements I've heard are a deck of cards or a woman's palm...but I've been guilty of "cheating" that size estimate, because it's easy when you're not dealing with hard numbers.

Using a food scale will keep you on track with your portion sizes, and will also allow you to buy meats and other foods in bulk and separate into useful portions more quickly and easily! I picked up this food scale at Ikea (hubby works there!) for six bucks, and I use it constantly - not just for meat, but bulk shredded cheese, veggies, even flour for baking (many really good bread recipes use flour measurements by weight and not cups).

So the next time you pick up that 3-lb package of chicken breast at the store, remember that it should serve up eight daily portions - then get yourself a scale and be sure you're making the most of that purchase!

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