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Portion Size Matters for Weight Control

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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.
    1. Serving size
    2. Number of portions per package/container
    3. Calories

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
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