Looking for the right way to lose weight? Start by perfecting your portions. Finding the right portions of what you eat and drink is one of the most effective ways to trim excess calories from your diet without dieting.
Serving sizes of everything from fast food and beverages to cookies and cookbook recipes have steadily crept up since the 1970s. It’s so bad that when we see a typical plate, glass or restaurant portion from the 70s, we think it’s puny.
The problem with large portions is that we tend to eat what we’re served and disregard whether or not we are physiologically hungry or not. So, if you order a bagel an it’s 5 ounces (a typical size these days) that counts for 5 grain servings or almost all the grains you need in a day! Chances are, you’re cleaning your plate.
Use the guides below to help increase your awareness of the portions you typically serve yourself. If you find that they’re significantly more than what’s recommended, start scaling back. Some general ways to avoid portion distortion:
- A teaspoon of butter or margarine is roughly the same size as the tip of your thumb (to the first joint)
- Three ounces of meat is equal to a deck of cards
- One cup of pasta is about the size of a tennis ball
- A bagel should be the size of a hockey puck
- 1 1/2 ounces of cheese is the size of three dominoes
- Two tablespoons of peanut butter is roughly equivalent to ping-pong or golf ball
- A half cup of vegetables is the size of a light bulb
- 1 bowl of dry cereal or 1 piece of fruit should equal the size of a baseball
- 1 ounce of lunchmeat should equal the size of a compact disk
- A bagel serving should equal the size of a hockey puck
- One baked potato should equal the size of a computer mouse
Answers: A=medium banana; B=1 cup vegetables; C=nuts; D= 3 ounce lean protein; E=small baked potato