Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Portion Control

I generally like to eat fresh fruit for breakfast. Bananas, apples, grapes, grapefruit and fresh berries are all regulars on my breakfast menu. Fruit is filling, has lots of fiber, and is just a great way to start the day.

In the late Spring, Summer and early Fall I can eat just fruit for breakfast. But it's getting cold again, and I just need something warm in my belly first thing in the morning to start the day.

Having a little oatmeal in the morning is the perfect solution. According to the directions for the organic oatmeal I use, I need to combine 1/2 cup of oats with 1 cup of water to produce a portion.

Now, if I made the full portion size as directed it would contain 190 plus calories, and is just too much food for me, particularly since I still like to pair the oatmeal with a piece of fruit.

So, looking at the directions given, I see that the proportion of oats to liquid is 1 to 2. I just reduce my portion of oatmeal to 1/4 cup and add 1/2 cup liquid.

So when I make my oatmeal I use 1/4 cup oats plus 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup almond milk (to give it some creaminess and extra flavor). I also add a sprinkling of cinnamon and either raisins, chopped apple or fresh berries (blueberries are my favorite). I then nuke it in the microwave for 2 1/2 minutes to get a hot, steamy bowl of delicious oatmeal.

I reduced the portion size appropriately, and reduced overall calories as well. I find that my bowl of oatmeal plus either a banana or apple is enough breakfast to take me through the entire morning (which usually includes hiking, walking or yoga) until I'm ready for lunch.


  1. So roughly how many calories do you aim for in a day?

    I still have that (supposedly disproven) idea that a large breakfast is a good thing. Don't always have time to eat a lot though.

  2. I think you should eat enough for breakfast so that you're not hungry all morning, but are hungry by lunch.

    I generally aim to eat 1,600-1,700 calories a day. Doesn't sound like a lot, but for my age, weight, height, if I eat anything more than that, I start putting on weight.

    That's why I put such an emphasis on eating raw fruits and vegetables. They fill you up on very few calories.