Controlling Portion Sizes
September 13, 2017
Eating smaller portions of food is one of the easiest ways to cut back on calories – but it can also be one of the most challenging, with the current trend of super-sizing. Huge portions, all-you-can-eat-buffets, and extra-large “single servings” of chips, candy bars, and other snack foods can all lead to overeating.
How do you know a reasonable portion of food when you see it? Visualize the objects mentioned below when eating out, planning a meal, or grabbing a snack. For example, the amount of meat recommended as part of a healthy meal is 3 to 4 ounces – it will look about the same size as a deck of cards.
The look of normal portion sizes
- 1 oz. meat = size of a matchbox
- 3 oz. meat = size of a deck of cards or bar of soap (the recommended portion for a meal)
- 8 oz. meat = size of a thin paperback book
- 1 medium potato = size of a computer mouse
Even some bagels have become super-sized, which gives this reasonably healthy breakfast item a high calorie count. Bakeries and grocery stores often carry jumbo bagels that measure 4¼ inches across and contain 300 to 400 calories each. A regular, 3-inch-diameter bagel has about 150 calories.
To eat smaller portions, try the following ideas:
When eating out
- Choose a regular single hamburger at your favorite fast food stop instead of the larger burger or the double burger.
- Have the small fries instead of the super-sized.
- Order a small soda or, even better, drink water.
- Share an entrée with a friend when you go to a restaurant.
- Ask for half your meal to be packed for you and eat it for lunch the next day.
- Don’t “eat from the bag.” When snacking, place a few chips, crackers, or cookies in a bowl to help keep from overeating.
- Buy single portions of snack foods so you’re not tempted by the whole bag or box.
- Like butter and sour cream on your baked potato? Mayonnaise and cheese on your sandwich? Cream cheese on your bagel? Use half the amount you usually do – and save even more calories by using low-fat varieties.
Boost servings of fruits and vegetables
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day to help prevent cancer. Substitute low calorie, high-fiber fruits and vegetables for higher calorie foods and snacks – it will help you get the fruits and vegetables you need, feel full, and save on calories!
Source: American Cancer Society
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