It wasn’t until I began recovery and following the exchange program that I began to measure all of my food. While it can be very helpful at first to make sure that you are getting your exchanges/calories in, I do not think that it is a healthy habit to become reliant on measuring everything you eat. I have been trying to break this habit and thought that it would be helpful to share some advice that has made this easier for me.
The most helpful thing I heard from a dietitian is to guess your portion sizes and then measure them to see how accurate you were. For example, if you want to have one cup of berries, grab what you think is one cup, and then measure after you put the food on your plate. If you got a little too much or too little, just make note of it in your head. Then next time you have berries you can remember to either increase or decrease it a bit. You don’t always have to be EXACT.
You can do this with most types of foods (cereals, meats, veggies, etc). I recommend trying to do this method and eventually make it to the point where you don’t feel the need to always go back and remeasure. Maybe check in once a week or so to make sure that you aren’t skimping, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll notice that your portioning is a lot more accurate that you would expect it to be! This method is a bit harder with things like spreads.
I have recently stopped measuring PB/cream cheese/other spreads and it feels so freeing. In order to make sure I am getting enough, however, I eyeball about 1/2 a tablespoon onto a knife and then spread the spread, continuing until I get the amount that I want. Every once in a while, I will measure out the spreads just to make sure that I am on the right track. Especially if you are recovering from a restrictive ED, it can be very easy to cut down just a little bit each time. This skimping adds up over time and let’s be real here-the only person you’re cheating is yourself.
Another helpful tip for things that are served in cups or bowls is to take notice of about how full your bowl/glass is when you add a cup (or whatever the portion size is) of food/drink to the glass. I know about how full I need to fill each of the glasses in my house in order to get my 8 oz of milk for example.
Also, just a little note, I do not want this post to be taken the wrong way! Obviously if you want to have more than a portion of a food, then go right ahead! I just thought I would share some of my advice to help those of you who, like me, can’t seem to get away from their beloved measuring cups and spoons. Also note that when I say “1 serving” I mean 1 serving for me. Screw those crazy serving sizes that are printed on the food labels! Nobody really just eats 3/4 of a cup of Frosted Flakes!!!
Do you have any advice to stopping obsessive measuring? What are your opinions on measuring food?