Posts Tagged ‘Portion Control’

Portion Control

Anyone who is trying to watch their weight will tell you that portion control is one of their best allies.  But what is portion control?rasp

By definition: Portion control is understanding how much a serving size of food is and how many calories or how much food energy a serving contains.

It’s very evident that the American diet no longer consists of true portions.  A perfect example would be an order of pasta.  Today’s average serving is enough to fill a 10 to 12 inch plate or bowl.  Even just 10 to 15 years ago, the same order would be equivalent to a side order portion today.

Also consider that it’s not just at a restaurant or at home that portions can sneak up on you.  When you read labels and see the information given, make sure to look at the serving size and how many servings are in the container.  It might say it’s only 50 calories in a serving but there may be 2 to 3 servings per container.

Some people find that actual measurements help keep them in line where others prefer a visual to compare to.  I’ve put together a list of both measurements and visuals to help guide you to better portion control.

Of course these examples are just averages.  For more accurate readings use a calibrated kitchen scale (I purchased a cheap one at Target) or measuring cups and spoons.

  • Fist = 1 Cup of rice, pasta, fruit or veggies
  • Palm = 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry
  • Handful = 1 ounce of nuts, seeds or raisins
  • Thumb = 1 ounce of hard cheese or nut butter
  • Thumb tip = 1 teaspoon of oil, butter or sugar
Other serving size references:

1 serving:

  • 1/2 cup, cooked pasta
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup ( 4 leaves) lettuce
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1/2 mango
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 cup yogurt or milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 1/4 pound hamburger patty