Presentation Meets Portion Control: Using Measuring Cups to Help You Lose Weight

Missing: Measuring Cups. Very crucial to weight loss plan. 😦

Found: Cute portion-controlling measuring cup set! Also makes a great hostess gift. 🙂

Measuring Cups Different ColorsWhen we first moved into the townhouse, I realized fairly quickly that my measuring cups didn’t make it into the kitchen boxes I brought from storage. That didn’t entirely surprise me, but it was definitely a problem. I don’t do a lot of baking, but I do measure pretty much everything, and I find that’s very helpful when it comes to losing weight.

I’ve written about this before in Create Your Own Weight Loss Program. Portion control and balanced nutrition are pretty stinkin’ important, especially when you’re trying to lose the weight on your own.

Eyeballing portions doesn’t work nearly as well as you’d think. Take it from someone who knows due to bouts of laziness.

Take cereal, for example. The difference between ¾ cup of Special K Fruit & Yogurt (one of my favorites) and 1 cup of the same is 40 calories. That might not seem like a deal breaker, and it’s not, but ¾ cup and 1 cup look so similar, that if you’re eyeballing it, you’ll probably end up with 1¼ cup, which is a 200 calorie serving, rather than 120 calories. That’s a pretty big difference. And let’s say you’re just pouring 1% milk in and hoping it’s 1 cup. 1 cup is already 102 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. If you end up with 1¼ cup (which is, again, very easy to do), you’ve got an extra 26 calories and another ½ gram of fat. Add that to the extra ½ cup of cereal, and without even realizing it, you’re eating another 100+ calories.

Do you know what you can eat for 100 calories???

½ cup of Edy’s Slow Churn peppermint ice cream, or
2 pieces of low fat string cheese, or
4 cups of Swiss Miss diet hot chocolate, or
1 banana, or
3 clementines, or
4oz glass of wine, or
1.1 oz Pepperidge Farm goldfish (which is surprisingly a lot).

And that’s just off the top of my head! So I want my 100 calories for something else, thank you very much. Hence the necessity of measuring cups.

Well, I knew I couldn’t wait until I found the old ones. In fact, I did go down to Central Illinois for a visit and tried, unsuccessfully, to dig through the boxes in storage to find them. So I thought, what the heck? I’ll buy new ones.

Measuring Cups CuteCheck out what I found! A Creative Co-Op Ceramic Measuring Cup Set. These cups are great, and not just because they get the job done. They’re super cute, and there really is something to be said about “cute” when dieting. Hear me out on this one:

One suggestion I made at Jenny Craig to my clients– don’t eat your meals out of the plastic trays. Put them on a nice plate. Apparently there’s some psychological thing we do where we are more satisfied eating something pretty and well presented as opposed to the opposite. Put strawberry yogurt in a dessert dish, add a dollop of light whipped cream, and tell me that doesn’t taste as good as a super fatty dessert. Seriously. Presentation isn’t a joke. It makes dieting easier.

Jenny Craig would probably make more money if they found a way to sell their meals on those fancy disposable dinner plates, rather than in black plastic trays that scream, “Diet Food! Do Not Enjoy!”

When I found these measuring cups, I scrolled through the reviews (something I always make a priority). Someone wrote that she loved the way these looked on her desk at work. She could portion control her snacks, and she didn’t look like she was dieting.

Sure enough, ½ cup of that Edy’s Slow Churn peppermint ice cream that I mentioned previously is far more satisfactory now that I’m eating it out of a red and white polka-dotted cup, rather than a Pyrex measuring cup. I still bought a couple standard measuring cups as well, and I have a kitchen scale that’s very helpful, especially with meat and cheese portions. But there’s something to be said about how helpful “cute” can be when it comes to dieting, and I thought I’d share that with you.

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