Portion Size Matters for Weight Control
Portion control is probably the most important aspect of weight management. The larger the portion, the more calories consumed. Yet Americans suffer from portion distortion, a consequence of our eyes being fooled into thinking that super-sized amounts of food are the standard. As a result, we routinely underestimate how much food is on our plates and are consuming more calories which results in weight gain. It’s safe to say we have forgotten what a normal serving is.
10 Ways to Downsize Portions
- Use a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.
- Purchase single-serve or individually wrapped items such as fruit cups, pudding cups, string cheese, granola bars, frozen fudge bars.
- Buy frozen entrees with fewer than 10 grams of fat and 350 to 400 calories.
- Eat just one serving of food, no seconds.
- Leave a bite or two on your plate.
- When eating out, eat half of the entrée at the restaurant and take the other half home for another meal.
- Order regular or child-size sandwiches, drinks, fries at fast food restaurants, not the biggie, value or super-size.
- Choose an appetizer as an entrée at a restaurant.
- Practice the three-bites rule – eat only three bites of a dessert.
- Become a label reader – look for three things on the label to help determine the serving size.
- Serving size
- Number of portions per package/container
Estimate Your Portions
If you don’t have a measuring cup available, here’s an easy way to eyeball the correct portion sizes.
- ½ cup cooked cereal, pasta, rice, vegetable or canned fruit = cupcake wrapper
- 1 cup mashed potatoes or casserole = size of fist
- 1 medium fresh fruit = tennis ball
- 1 medium potato = computer mouse
- 1 ounce cheese = 4 stacked dice
- 3 ounces cooked meat or poultry = deck of cards
- 3 ounces grilled or baked fish = checkbook
- 1 teaspoon margarine = tip of thumb (top joint)
- 1 ounce nuts or small candies = one small handful