Ask yourself this: What healthy upgrades can I make to my diet?
For most of us, monitoring portion sizes is right at the top of that list—we all love food and tend to eat too much of it. Portion control is a critical part of a healthy diet and waistline, however Americans tend to underestimate the amount they eat by 50 percent. This is largely due to not having a good understanding of portion control or the tools to keep portion sizes in check.
Portion Control BasicsFirst, it is important to understand the difference between a portion and a serving. A portion is the amount of a certain food you choose to consume, while a serving is the recommended amount of food based on the nutrition facts label. When choosing your portions, try to make them similar to the recommended serving size.
Here are some techniques:
A portion friendly plate (approximately 9 inches) should consist of:
- ½ plate of non-starchy vegetables
- ¼ plate of 3 ounces of meat, fish, chicken or meat substitute
- ¼ plate of starch (sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta)
Use visual cues and comparisons to eyeball portion sizes.
- Vegetables: 1 serving is approximately 25 calories
- 1 cup of cooked vegetables = A baseball
- Fruits: 1 serving is approximately 60 calories
- 1 medium-sized fruit = A baseball
- Carbohydrates: 1 serving is approximately 70 calories
- ½ cup whole grain pasta OR brown rice/quinoa/lentils= A hockey puck
- 1 medium sweet potato = A computer mouse
- Protein: 1 serving is approximately 110 calories (1 oz= 1 serving)
- 3 oz. of meat = A deck of cards
- 3 oz. of fish = A checkbook
- 1 ½ oz. of cheese = 3 dice
- Fats: 1 serving is approximately 120 calories
- 2 tbsp. almond or peanut butter = A ping pong ball
- 1 tbsp. butter or oil = A poker chip
Tips to keep portions in check:
- Keep your kitchen a portion-friendly zone. Purchase single serving snacks or pre-portion snacks into individual containers based on the serving size
- Purchase portion-friendly Tupperware
- Use appetizer sized plates and small utensils
- Serve food on individual plates rather than putting serving dishes on the table- out of sight, out of mind!
- Eating slowly and practicing mindful eating can help to keep portion sizes in check!
- Ask for half-portion entrees when eating out or split an entrée with a friend
- Ask for a to-go box and save half your portion for later
Lose Weight at Penn MedicinePenn can help you lose weight.
Learn about medical weight loss in Philadelphia, and the Penn Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Program at a free information session about weight-loss surgery in Philadelphia.
There, you will hear about your weight-loss surgery options, and how Penn can help you lose weight and get healthy for good.
Register for a free information session today.