Keeping track of what I eat (aka boring post but super interesting for me!)

Monday, January 26, 2015

My sad single-serving bowl of popcorn
3 servings of veg in this one!
Look at all that romaine!
Prepping veg for the week.
I've never been one to track what I eat when it comes to serving size. Over the past 15 or so years I've maintained my weight, so I never thought to consider keeping track, nor did it really interest me to do so. But as I may have mentioned, I'm doing a little fitness and health challenge over the course of 10 weeks and this week we've had to eat at least four servings of veggies so I need to keep track!

Now I eat a lot of veggies so I wasn't even going to do the challenge, but then I started wondering how much I really eat in a day. Do I actually get the recommended serving size of fruits and vegetables every day? I also thought I had four servings in the bag no problem and I was going to challenge myself with even more.

But in a matter of only a few days,  I've learned a lot that I didn't know about serving size:

1. Even though I eat a lot of vegetables a week, I don't actually think I was getting the recommended servings of a day. Also I don't eat a ton of fruit (I favour eating veggies over fruit most times). Most servings of vegetables (with the exception of greens which are a cup raw) come in half-cup increments so if you really think about it, it can be a lot of vegetables to eat in one day and you have to find time to eat them all (salads are a great way to get a lot of them in!). Now please note that the actual recommended daily serving suggestion size is 7-8 of fruit and veg for women my age. I felt like four servings took up most of my day not even leaving room for 3-4 more servings of fruit and veg that I should have been eating.

2. It's interesting to see what really is a serving. I decided to take a look at serving sizes of other things like pasta which is my ultimate downfall... I can eat a BIG bowl in one sitting and I thoroughly enjoy it, but I always know that I'm eating way too much. Today I had some leftover pasta for lunch so I checked to see what the serving size should be and it's half a cup.

Do you know how much that is? It's maybe eight penne noodles. 

I tipped it into my pasta bowl and promptly added another half cup to make myself feel better. But get this, I ate it with a cup of raw kale and some vegan parmesan and it totally filled me up. I bet that on average I typically would eat about five servings of pasta and the reality is that it's too much. We don't need to eat that much food in one sitting.

I had some popcorn later in the afternoon which I also thought would be fun to measure. I'm not sure why I thought this would be fun because I realized that one serving of popcorn is two cups which I thought would be more than enough. You see, when I eat popcorn it's in a big bowl, like BIG (is there a theme here??). So today I put a smaller amount of kernels in the popper and then used a smaller bowl. Then for fun I measured out two cups into another bowl and barely dented my first bowl. There was so much leftover. And that was a smaller bowl than what I usually have. I was probably having 10 servings of popcorn on a regular basis.

I know... I know. It's popcorn. Big deal but I think that overall we all eat way too much food for what we actually need for our bodies and we don't realize it (unless of course it's taking over our waistlines). It has been an interesting experiment to measure out my food. I don't want to become obsessed, but I think it will have an impact on my future eating habits. I already feel better physically from just four days of eating this way.

So that's my ramble post for the month. How about you? What do you know you eat too much of?

Want to know the recommended daily serving suggestions (come on you know you do!)

Canada's Food Guide
I think this is the site for the States although it's confusing to find a graph that gives actual figures


  1. not boring at all, great info for everyone. I need to start a new very limited food diet because I have a bladder disease and a lot of foods I cannot eat, thanks for sharing this

  2. Ok, first of all this isn't boring! Second, good for you that you can keep track and know your recommended daily servings! I don't but I keep these in mind: everything in moderation and balance is the key.

  3. I agree with Heather and Terri Lynn… not boring!! Great post and a great motivation for me. Thank you!!


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