Diet Basics: Portion Sizes

February 1, 2013


One of the most difficult parts of changing your diet is correctly portioning your meals. Some of us may have strayed from the path we were taught by our parents, while some of us may have never learned how to appropriately portion our meals at all. No matter the reason, when you decide to take the first steps toward being a healthier, happier you, you will need to learn how to effectively portion your meals.
The best way to help yourself when it comes to portion control is being able to “eyeball” items and know their approximate portion size. This sounds more complicated than it is. There are easily recognizable ways to compare food amounts and sizes. Here’s a quick overview.

When it comes to grains and rice, one cup of cereal flakes is the size of a fist. A pancake should be the size of a CD or DVD. A serving of bread is about the size of a cassette tape.

These simple assessments have been made by The American Diabetic Association. Lean meats are also easy to assess for portion size, as 3 ounces of lean meat is just about the size of a deck of playing cards. A full cup of vegetables like salad greens are just about the size of a baseball. A tennis ball is approximately 3/4 of a cup.

With these associations, you can rest assured that you are sticking as close to the necessary portion size as possible without having weighing and measuring tools on hand. But when you are at home, it is always important to use kitchen scales, measuring cups and measuring spoons to have the correct portion sizes.

Whether you are on a low fat diet, a low carb diet or are just trying to be more conscious of what you put in your body, it is important to control your portions. It is one of the easiest ways to begin to see weight loss and to make sure that your body is running at maximum efficiency. This is especially true when it comes to treat items like junk food, ice cream and potato chips.

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