Healthy Living

Food Portion Sizes

Food Portion Sizes
Food portion sizes have tripled and they are making many people fat. See what a true portion size is and how to learn portion control.

It is very shocking what has happened over the past number of years to portions sizes of many foods. It seems that what was once considered to be a normal food portion has doubled or tripled in many cases.

Portion Sizes & Calories-  Then And Now

Examples to show how much portions size/calories have increased.

Food                                             1985                        2005

Cheeseburger                             330 calories            600 calories
French fries                                 220                         610
Spaghetti and meatballs              500                        1030
popcorn                                       275                         630

These are just a few example of portion sizes and how they have increased over the years. No wonder people are getting fatter!

It seems no matter where you eat, portions are enormous. That makes it extremely hard for many people to maintain a healthy weight.

Recent studies have shown that portion control may be the most effective and healthy, long-lasting weight loss solution. With portion control weight loss you don’t have to eliminate your favorite foods, but just eat less of them. It means minimizing, rather than maximizing the sizes.

Proper Serving Sizes

According to the United States Department of Agriculture one serving is equal to:

1 cup of lettuce
1 slice of whole grain bread
½ cup of cooked rice
1 medium apple
½ cup of mashed potatoes
½ cup of cooked or raw vegetables
1/4 pound hamburger patty
1 small baked potato
½ cup of berries
1 cup of yogurt or milk
1½ ounces of cheese

Proper Food Portion Sizes

Here are some tips for visually assessing proper food portion sizes without having to carry around a food scale

3-ounce serving of meat ( for example: a chicken breast portion size) is about the size of a deck or playing cards
1 cup of fruit is about the size of your small fist
6-ounce serving of fish is about the size of a checkbook
1 ounce of meat is about the size of a matchbook
3-ounce serving of sliced lunch-meat is about the size of 3 CDs
1 ounce serving of cheese is the size of a pair of dice
1 cup of potatoes, rice, or cereal is about the size of a baseball
½ cup of ice cream or frozen yogurt is about the size of 2 golf balls

Tips For Portion Control

Tips for food portion sizes include:

Use smaller plates. With a smaller plate, it’s less likely you will serve yourself more. It’s harder to pile up a small plate.

Only eat half. The next time you feel like you want to pig out on your favorite foods, just eat half. Add fruits or vegetables to you plate instead.

Read labels. When you purchase packaged foods always check labels to see what 1 serving is. It can be a big surprise to see just how small a true serving is supposed to be.

Never eat from the bag. When you eat from the bag it is hard to control just how much you are eating. Always measure out an amount that looks like a true portion onto a plate. This way you won’t overeat.

Don’t do buffets. Forget about dining at buffets. The fact you can eat as much as you want for the money is very tempting for many people. We feel we want to get “our moneys worth”, which can lead to piling up plates of food and going back for seconds.

Use the smaller plates provided at the buffet, if you do decide to go out for one, and don’t return for more. Better to be cheap when it comes to the food portions sizes than get greedy and get fat!!

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