August 25, 2010

Savvy with Serving Sizes–The Key to Portion Control

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 8:53 pm

Though you may be committed to a healthy eating plan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and derailed when presented with enormous portion sizes at restaurants or when trying to estimate an appropriate portion of a meal or snack at home. Use the following guidelines for judging what a serving actually looks like and incorporate the tips for controlling your intake to stick to your intentions and not consume excess calories from oversized portions!

Easy Ways to Estimate Serving Size

Meat (chicken, fish, beef, pork) – 1 serving = 3 oz
Visual Estimates: a deck of cards, the palm of your hand

Starch (rice, pasta, potatoes, etc) – 1 serving = 1/2 cup (cooked)
Visual Estimates: a tennis ball, a small fist, a computer mouse

Cheese – 1 serving = 1 oz
Visual Estimate: 6 small dice

Fruit - 1 serving = 1/2 cup
Visual Estimate: a tennis ball, a small fist,

Vegetables – 1 serving = ½ cup cooked (or 1 cup raw)
Visual Estimates: a tennis ball or small fist = ½ cup, 1 large fist = 1 cup

Fat (butter, sour cream, cream cheese, etc) - 1 serving = 1 Teaspoon
Visual Estimate: the size of the tip of your thumb

Spreads (peanut butter, hummus, etc) – 1 serving = 2 Tablespoons
Visual Estimate: about the size of a ping pong ball or 2 thumb tips

Remember, if you are preparing your own food at home, the best plan is to read the nutrition facts label and measure out an appropriate serving size. Keep a scale, measuring cup and measuring spoons out on the counter so you can see how much a portion really is. Once you get the hang of it you will be able eyeball portions easily.

Tips to Avoid Overeating
1. Avoid eating directly from a box or container as you’re likely to lose track of how much you’re eating.
2. When dining out, portion out the amount you plan to consume from your plate before you begin eating and ask for a container to bring the remainder home in.
3. Choose smaller plates, bowls, and cups when possible. Research has shown that eating off of larger plates tends to promote overeating as people often fill the plate with larger portions.
4. Eat slowly and savor your food. By being mindful and not rushing through your meal or snack you’ll be more in touch with your body’s satiety cues and will be less likely to overeat.

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