Portion Control Is Key For Losing Weight and Keeping it OFF!

You can’t just diet and lose weight. The larger the portion, the more calories for your body to burn off. Here are some suggestions that can help you better portion your food.

1: Use visual aids for common food serving sizes (example)

  • Meat, fish, or poultry = 3 ounces = deck of cards / iPhone (lowest in carbs)
  • Pasta, rice, potatoes = one cup = baseball (keep in mind that these are HIGH in carbs)
  • potato, yam = one unit = computer mouse (again, HIGH in carbs)
  • Nuts = 1/4 cup = golf ball (watch the carbs!)
  • Salad dressing or olive oil = 2 Tbsp = shot glass
  • Peanut butter = 2 Tbsp = shot glass (about 8g of carbs)
  • Ice cream = half cup = half baseball (high in sugar)
  • Cheese = 2 ounces = 2 fingers (stick with low carb)
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2: Read the serving size information on the Nutrition Facts on the package

Processed foods have a nutrition facts label and the first thing it shows is the serving size.  All the calorie and nutrient information that follows is calculated per serving. But sometimes the serving size is tiny compared to what people really eat.

For example, cereals usually list the serving as half a cup (one ounce). Even KIDS eat more than that. Read this carefully!

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3: Understand how many servings are in a package
As a follow on to the previous tip, it’s important to know how many servings are in a package.

A small bag of Doritos has about 2.5 servings! (That means two and a half times the calories you were expecting)

A bottle Naked Juice or POM actually has TWO servings of liquid. A serving of juice (or soda, or water) is 1 cup (8 fluid ounces), but these bottles usually provide you with double that amount, 16 ounces. (Share with a friend, or better yet, drink water!)

4: When eating out, ask for the small or kids sized portions

Restaurant and fast food meals have massively increased in the last 30 years.

A 280 calorie Caesar salad in 1985 is now over 700 calories! (The kid’s meals are actually the size of what was an adult meal 30 years ago!)

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5: Never eat out of the bag or box

If you bought a family size bag of pretzels, or a gallon tub of ice cream, the worst possible thing to do is eat straight out of the package and especially in front of the TV or computer–or at your desk. It will cause mindless eating!

6: Put ONE SERVING ONLY on your plate in the kitchen and eat in the dining room and USE SMALLER PLATES!

The easiest way to overeat is having the serving dishes on the dining table within arm’s reach. Plate your food in the kitchen then serve it at the table. Don’t eat all over the house, as well.

The plates have increased in size over the years.  If you use a smaller plate for your food, it will feel like you are eating more when you fill it.  Use smaller plates.

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7: Fresh fruits and veggies, eat more of them than the protein and carbs

Put fruit and mostly veggies on half of your plate. The fiber in produce will help you feel full and less hungry.

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Measuring Food Tips

If you’re on a diet, the best tool to help you start a diet and learn portion control is a food scale. Why?  Many people normally eat servings that are much larger than recommended amounts.

Food Scale: How it Works

A food scale will show you that the portion you thought was four ounces may actually weigh eight ounces. That’s the kind of mistake that could derail your diet.  Meat portions should be around 4 ounces.  Once you use a scale for a while, you can pretty much eyeball food portions and know if it is about 4 ounces or not.

A food scale is only one of the measuring tools you will need; measuring cups and spoons are also essential diet implements. Food scales are best for meat, which should weigh in at 4 ounces per serving, and cheese, 1.5 ounces per serving. Cups are best for fruits and vegetables — a serving is 1/2 cup on most fruits and about a cup on most vegetables, twice a day.

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Another Way to Eyeball Sizes:

–A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards

–A serving of pasta should fit in the palm of your hand, although I do not recommend pasta or rice on a low-carb diet.

Food Scale: Choosing the Best One

Food scales range from a small plastic cup on a small plastic base to old-fashioned metal scales with weights and measures to expensive, programmable digital scales that can give you the full nutritional information for each serving size. The best food scale for you:

  • Has numbers you can read easily
  • Has a cup or bowl large enough to hold the food you need to weigh
  • Is easy to clean and store