At BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, we not only help clients with developing a more active lifestyle, but also a personalized nutrition program. While what you eat is ultimately the most important part of that program, portion control also plays an important role. With most fruits and vegetables, it’s not a problem. They’re often so low in calories portion control makes no difference at all. You could eat an entire head of celery and not be anywhere near your daily calorie allotment. However, if you eat volumes of nuts, avocados, olive oil and sweet potatoes, all healthy foods, the results might be quite different. The same is especially true for snack food and sweets.
What is the single serving size.
In most cases, you’d be surprised at how small the single serving size is. Consider the lowly potato chip that has 160 calories per serving…it’s just 15 chips. Cheetos have a 150 calories with 20 per servings. Seriously, has anyone ever stopped at 15 or 20? Even the healthiest meal can throw you over your caloric intake. In fact, one study showed that using larger plates increased the average food intake by 45%!
If you’re eating in a restaurant, you can’t control portions.
Whether you’re eating in a restaurant at home, having a quick way to measure portions can help. Three ounces of chicken or meat is about the size of a deck of cards. A cup of rice, pasta or ice cream is the size of a tennis ball. Put four dice together and it’s the size of one ounce of cheese. A medium piece of fruit is the size of a baseball. Keep those dice with you to measure margarine or butter. It’s the size of one die. Compare the size of a golf ball with one serving on peanut butter, jam or salad dressing. These are all simple ways to identify a serving size when you don’t have a measuring cup or scale available.
Steer clear of supersizing and weigh or measure food at home.
It doesn’t take a nutritionist to figure out that supersized meals blow portion control out of the water. Sure, everyone wants more for their money, but if you’re eating out and the meal is big, eat half of everything and take the rest home. Learn portion control by weighing and measuring each item when you eat. Before long, you’ll be able to ball park the right portion size without measuring. Read package labels. Who eats only 3 Oreos or consumes just ¾ cup of Honey Nut Cheerios? Portions count. Learn to identify them through practice.
- Compare the serving size of an apple and the calories with the serving size and calories of chips. One apple is just 90-95 calories, about half that of 18 chips and has more nutrition. It also is more filling.
- Whether you’re counting calories, carbs or sodium, serving size is important. Before you buy, read the label and see if you’d be satisfied with the amount in one serving. Walk away quickly if you wouldn’t be.
- Maintaining portion control not only helps with weight, but also digestion. It helps keep your blood sugar more level, too.
- When you consider the serving size for fruit juice is ¼ cup, for cut up fruit ½ cup and one medium fruit when it’s whole, you can see how much more filling eating the fruit is, whether cut up or whole.
For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance