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Aim for the Stars: Portion Control

We’re about halfway on our journey through the universe, getting closer to the healthy lifestyle galaxies. The knowledge we’ve obtained on setting goals, leading and lending support, finding a true balance, wading through data, and proper food and fluid intake is very important. However, is too much of a good thing too bad?

the constellations Ursa Major and Minor

To determine how much we need in our lives, we can use these two signposts: Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, prominently known as Big Bear and Little Bear. They’re also known as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper. I can’t think of any other signposts that measure up to these.

I made a conscious decision not to give up anything on my journey. I didn’t want to feel deprived or punished. Mastering the art of portion control was crucial to my success. I learned it was best to have one slice of pizza and be satisfied instead of having one whole pizza. As we discovered when discussing healthy eating, it’s not beneficial to consume all our calories from one source (good or bad). It’s much more advantageous to portion out these calories over a wide variety of options.

Actually measuring out our food and beverages is important since we tend to fool ourselves on what’s a proper amount. I mentioned my struggle with pizza. Pizza can pack on the pounds because we often misjudge serving sizes of wedge-shaped food. According to research out of Tennessee State University, they studied 320 people who looked at a serving of cake, pie, and pizza for 30 seconds, then estimated the sizes of the portions they had seen using a ruler or a protractor-like device. Researchers found that the participants miscalculated the serving sizes by 10 to 25 percent. “Reporting the size of a wedge is difficult, since one end is pointed and the other is curved,” says lead Researcher, Sandra Goodwin, Ph.D. More symmetrical food portions are easier to estimate, so go for square pieces of pizza and bake your deserts in single-serving cookware, like cupcake pans or ramekins. You can also use visual comparisons like a deck of cards, a tennis ball, and your fist to help measure portions.

Controlling our portions doesn’t just apply to food and beverages. One can overdo or underdo anything in their life. Do you know anyone who spends all day in the gym? Or doesn’t do any significant form of physical activity at all?

Traveling to the extreme edges is not helpful, and as we learned from Libra, a balanced plan is crucial for a successful journey. The Big Dipper is one of the most recognizable constellations in the night sky and is likewise an extremely helpful navigational tool. Using this signpost, as well as the Little Dipper, is critical to maintaining that balance. We can all measure up.


This is part eight of the multipart series, “Aim for the Stars.” In my next blog, we’ll look upward to the constellation Hercules.

Missed the beginning of our journey through the constellations? Check out the rest of Aim for the Stars.


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