Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Portion control

I've been having a hard time with portion control lately. While I was losing weight, I was fine having a carton of ice cream in the house or a pan of brownies and only have one or two servings for my daily treat. Recently, however, I've been having a hard time keeping any sort of treat in the house longer than a day or two.

So for the past week or so, I've been buying those tiny little Ben & Jerry's ice cream cups:
They're a little less than 1/2 cup. But they're pretty expensive (about $1.25 each) so until this week, I didn't buy them very often.

Today I decided to make my own portion-controlled cups of ice cream so I can quit buying these little things. I found carrot cake flavored ice cream (LOVE carrot cake ice cream) and I bought some little Tupperware containers that hold four fluid ounces--perfect for individual sized ice cream.

I got nine little portions out of that container (even though it claims there are fourteen 1/2 cup servings--I packed it in). That means each little container has 202 calories, which is actually fewer than the premium Ben & Jerry's.

I know that this might not make any sense, because if I really wanted to binge, I could just eat all those little containers. But something about having tiny little containers like that makes it much easier for me to stop with just one. If I kept that carton in my freezer, I would easily take a big bowl of ice cream and only get 3-4 servings MAX out of it.

I really ought to start doing this with peanut butter, too. Or at least the sugary nut butters that I like--Nutella, PB& Co., etc. I could put the nut butters into 1-oz containers and it would be much easier to stop with one serving. I know that it's sold that way sometimes, but it costs too much for me to justify buying it like that.

Sweets seem to be the only thing that I really have a problem with controlling portions. I just never feel full from them! I could keep a bag of chips in my pantry until they expire, but a box of cookies wouldn't last two days.



I had a very interesting dinner last night. I was having a strange craving, so I just went with it... I chopped up a peach in to a bowl, then added dried cherries and a splash of milk. Then I crumbled up one of those Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey bars (the really crunchy ones) and threw that on top. Then I microwaved it for about 90 seconds, and it was delicious!

What's that on top? you might ask. Well, that would be my most recent nut butter find (read: something I should not have bought)...
I will say, however, that the Caramel Almond Spread wasn't AS good as I expected. So I won't be buying it again. It tasted kind of like a maple frosting--which sounds yummy, but I honestly wasn't super crazy about it.

Good grief, no wonder so many of you think I have an atrocious diet--lately, all I post about is the junk food I eat! I do eat healthy stuff MOST of the time, I just don't write much about it because it's not very interesting. The fact that marathon training has allowed me to eat a little more junk than usual makes me excited to post about my treats ;)




43 comments:

  1. OMG, that does look good! I just had apple cinnamon oatmeal as a snack! I've been eating a lot of oat products, I think because they're sweet! I am just like you- sweets are my thing. There's a bag of Lay's Kettle Cooked Chips in the cabinet and I have had 2 chips, 1 each time I doled out a serving for Chelsea's lunch box. However, if I'm on a binge, I'll eat sweet-salty-sweet-salty... Last week the 2-pk of chocolate frosted brownies at the market just whispered my name and I was ripping into them on the way to the car! Chocolate still has a hold on me!

    Oh, and I've never seen that flavor of Duff's ice cream! We've had the red velvet and triple chocolate cake ones. I think I might be the only one that would like carrot cake. Hmmm...then no one else would touch it and it would be all mine...(insert evil laugh here).

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  2. I have the exact same issue and I also buy the little Ben and Jerry's containers when I can justify the ridiculous cost. I also do little 60 calorie pudding cups, but as for having sweets in the house. It's impossible. My husband (poor guy) bought some Tin Roof Sundae last week and I ended up eating most of it, and I love to add a scoop of peanut butter to my ice cream. YUMMY! I am addicted to sugar due to my PCOS, but the more I control my eating and the more strict I try to be the bigger the desire. I tried taking chromium (I had heard this would curb the desire), but that was a complete bust, so now I am just trying to cope and keep on moving forward!

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  3. I love the idea of the homemade individual serving sizes of icecream! My hubby always wants dessert after dinner but I'm afraid to get a carton of ice cream or something like that because of the binge fear but that just might work. I'm going to try it! Thanks!

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  4. When I'm using my brain I do the same thing with portioning. I recently made peanut butter oatmeal cookies and binged on 8 or so. Then the damn tupperware container of them taunted me from the cupboard. Finally, I got out some snack size ziplocs and portioned them into two-cookie servings. I haven't eaten one since!

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  5. Mindless Eating talked a lot about package size tricking our brains into eating less or more, so that whole mini-packaging makes a lot fo sense. Though I admit, I"m the other way around. I can completely forget the carton fo ice cream in the freezer until it's crusted over with ice and nasty, but if we bring home certain kinds of potato chips, I will eat until my mouth is completely cut up from the salt and I feel absolutely sick.

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    1. Yeah--definitely chips over ice cream! Altho it's probably best not to have either one in my house!

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  6. I have been known to sit down and eat an entire bag of individually-wrapped portions of some junk or the other. But, that said, this theory usually works quite well for me for every-day temptation. I guess if I'm going to binge I'm going to binge, but portion control in the meantime helps limit the damage!

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  8. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who can polish off a half gallon of ice cream so fast. My husband always looks at me like it was a major feat! I may have to do that too...right now I have some of the Smart Ones Sundae's in the freezer. They are really good...the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my fave!

    I've been thinking about trying almond and/or cashew butter...but I just can't bring myself to spend that much on it if I don't even know if I'll like it!

    www.willbeskinnyernie.blogspot.com

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  9. I understand you completely - I always had a strong sweet tooth and can eat a lot of sugar and not feel full. I recently gave up sugar (again). After 3 or 4 days the cravings go away completely and it always amazes me. I do make sure I have a couple of non-sweet treats so I don't feel deprived.

    Maybe when I reach my goal weight I will do a once a week treat or something but I just can't seem to keep things like Nutella in the house or I will lose my mind. Somehow one bite always ends up as half the container.

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  10. I have zero willpower at times, as well! That's such a good idea to put the ice cream in individual containers. I've never thought to do that! I can't keep Nutella in the house at all, nor ANY Peanut Butter & Company peanut butters. I will sometimes look at almond butters or other nut butters at Whole Foods, but walk away sadly, knowing that the minute I buy them and have the jar at home, half of it will be spooned into my mouth until my belly hurts!

    Amanda

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  11. Goodness... I need to stop reading your blog at night after I have eaten all my calories for the day. Your blogging about food always makes me want one more treat before bed. Maybe I need to start reading your blog in the morning when I have a whole days worth of calories ahead of me :) Love all your food ideas. I haven't tried any of them yet, but sure that will change soon!

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  12. This has nothing to do with today's post but I just tried Vanilla Bean Gu during my long run today and it tasted like vanilla frosting! Delicious! I did buy some peanut butter flavored Gu, I hope it is just as good.

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  13. I TOTALLY get the way you portioned your ice cream. And I've never had that flavor, sounds like heaven!
    Healthy food isnt boring, maybe you could inspire me to eat it more :)

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  14. That pre-portioning is GENIUS!

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  15. I love the portioning idea, however when I've tried that in the past, I've found whenever I've gone to get one when I've had cravings, they are usually all gone. :/
    You are lucky you don't have that problem with Jerry.

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  16. I was going to get some Marantha at the local coop by my house but it was like 14 dollars! OMG!!

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  17. Oh and the portioning idea is genious! I'd actually feel safe having ice cream in the house! I do this with cookies, and other snacks like popcorn so I don't have to measure every time I want a snack. Perfect for when I'm REALLY rushing in the morning!!

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  18. I make myself little preportioned snacks too! Ice cream is a major weakness for me!!

    About the nut butters....a restaurant supply store near us sells little 1-2 oz portion cups with lids. I use them for science experiments. You could put your nut butter in those and then you wouldn't have to wash them. Sorry, I am more into convenience than saving the earth. ;)

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  19. I totally understand the portioning. It's something about breaching the packaging that does it. I can have a bag of M&Ms in the cupboard and they can stay there unopened forever, but as soon as the seal is breached - look out! Repackaging helps with that.

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  20. I love your ice cream idea. what usually happens in our family is eating straight out of the container...just a few bites. yeah right!

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  21. great idea with the ice cream!!! might have to do that!!

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  22. Individualizing the ice cream is genius! When I get back to eating real food I will be stealing this idea from you!

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  23. That is SUPER smart of you! I feel the same way about when I was "losing weight" I felt more accountable for everything. Now that I am more focused about training than weight loss I feel almost out of control. Yuck. But I have found that sometimes portioning things ahead of time, just makes things easier. I melt coconut oil and pour it into ice cube trays to make "fat bombs" that are perfect for cooking. I also freeze pumpkin in ice cube trays then put them in a ziploc bag to throw into smoothies.

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  24. I seen that Carmel almond butter in the store the other day and thought,that is way too yummy to buy. Glad I didn't. I probably would have been disappointed with the flavor also.

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  25. That's a really good idea! I can't believe I've never thought of creating my own portions of ice cream. I've portioned out bags of chips and candy plenty of times, but this never occurred to me. It's brilliant, really. I definitely need portion controlled sizes, but I can't always justify spending the money on the little containers, or ice cream bars.

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  26. Katie-
    Thanks for "liking" my status on SP!!! I was going to run my 5 mike tempo run in the TM at the gym, but one of the guys (& only guy, for that matter) who runs faster was running with the group, so I did my tempo run outside...yay!!! I was aiming for 8:30 pace, but was feeling good and ended up finishing around 8 min/mile pace!!!
    I have thought about doing that with ice cream in the past, maybe I will, thanks for the reminder!!!!!
    Are you still doing Wednesday weigh-ins? I am just curious.
    I am assuming you are having the same summer-like weather recently, that has been nice!!!!
    ~Laura

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  27. Katie, I had oats in a jar for breakfast this morning for the first time. So. Freakin. Good. Thanks for the great blog and great food suggestions, sometimes I think I must be a groupie because I try so many of the foods you write about on your blog :).

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  28. I love your ice cream idea! Perfect!

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  29. I took your advice from this post last night and spend a little extra time separating the trail mix I bought into single serving, accurately measured baggies. :-)

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  30. Well, hello. I found your blog yesterday after some browsing, and can't believe your story. I read your whole jaw-breaking story here at work and definitely want to catch up with your posts! Just wanted to check in and let you know you have a new reader!

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  31. I have been having a similar issue with sweets lately. It used to be that I really didn't like sweets at all but after I had been given a diet challenge by a trainer I was working with (less/no starches, more lean protein, no sugar, no juices, no fruit after 12pm, just to name a few things) I found that I craved sweets, I made it to the end of the challenge but I went crazy afterwards and ate and ate :-/ Now months later I am still trying to reel in my sweet tooth.

    That is a very smart idea with the ice cream and Tupperware, if I liked ice cream that much I'd definitely do that!

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  32. Your supper does actually look pretty tasty! It's like a simple peach cobbler of sorts. :)

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  33. I'm going to have to portion out my Biscoff spread.....I just bought a jar on Monday and it's half gone!! So bad, but SOOOOOOO GOOD! lol

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  34. I have GOT to go and get some of that ice cream...well after my 45 day challenge is over. I will also be picking up some 4oz tupperware to divide it up. I will also sometimes eat ice cream with my kid's baby spoon. I take smaller bites and it makes it last longer!

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    1. It's funny you said that, because I actually bought some baby spoons while I was out getting Tupperware ;)

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  35. KellyfromMinnesotaMarch 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Thank you so much for this...I just did this with my ice cream. I have exactly the same problem with sweets--especially ice cream. I like the idea of baby spoons too. Since I do have a baby, that will be easy! I actually went out today and forked over the money for a Yonana machine (makes "soft serve" from frozen fruit). I decided it was necessary after making two batches of buttercream frosting and eating it all out of the containers in less than a week (which obviously negates the running you've been inspiring me to do!).

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  36. I love reading about what you eat. I especially enjoyed when you were posting all of the food you were eating every day. I find it very inspirational to see what you are eating (the good and the bad). It gives me a lot of ideas too!

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  37. That's brilliant! Oh, I sent you an email a few weeks ago with a question and never thanked you for responding so quickly, so thanks!

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  38. Well you're just kinda brilliant aren't you? hehehe I LOVE this idea!! I really struggle with portion control if I allow myself some indulgences (I'm still at the stage where I just have to avoid overeating trigger foods like sweets altogether or I go hogwild and can't stop myself.) But eventually I look forward to introducing some of those sweet treats back into my food plan and this is such an smart, easy way to help myself stay in control. Thank you!

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  39. Just thinking about my issue with portion control... I happened to blog about my problem with it the other day :) http://droppingtheplus.blogspot.com/2012/03/my-addiction-is-better-than-your.html

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  40. And I'll be stealing that idea about the little containers and the ice cream, and for exactly the same reason. If I serve myself out of the container, four servings max. But if it is already divided into small portions, I won't go back to the freezer and get a second one. Smart, smart!

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  41. Sometimes I take peanutbutter, hummus, dressing, etc. to work by taking a spoonful and emptying it into one of the bottom corners of a sandwhich bag and then jast tying the bag closed in a knot. Its a cheap solution to portion control :)

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