What’s the Right Size?

Do you know what a recommended serving size is? Or, more importantly, do you portion your foods according to the serving size? Don’t worry you’re not alone – most people suffer from portion distortion, but luckily there’s a cure! Familiarize yourself with the correct serving sizes to beat the portion distortion mindset.

serving size_smallerLet take a look at the healthy serving sizes of common foods:

  • 3 oz cooked chicken (4 oz raw) = deck of cards
  • 3 oz fish = check book
  • 1 oz cheese = 2 dice
  • 1 tsp of butter = 1 dice
  • 1 small baked potato = computer mouse
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter = golf ball or tip of your thumb
  • Waffle or pancake = CD
  • 1/2 cup cooked beans = a light bulb
  • 1 cup of cereal = baseball
  • 1 cup of leafy vegetables = size of your fist
  • 1 serving of fruit = tennis ball
  • Piece of chocolate = dental floss package
  • 3 oz muffin or biscuit = hockey puck

Are your eyes bigger than your stomach? Trick yourself into slimming down your portions with these simple tips:

1. Drink a glass of water before each meal to curb your appetite. Water provides volume without any calories.

2. Eat VERY slowly. Make meals last 20 minutes or longer to give time for your stomach and brain to register that you’re full. Speed eaters choose larger portions since they continue to eat past their point of fullness. Take your time to leisurely eat your meal and enjoy the taste your food to the fullest.

3. Choose high fiber foods. One of the many functions of fiber is to provide fullness. Choosing fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods will make it easier to push away from the table and keep you fuller for longer.

4. Eat more veggies! Non-starchy vegetables are low in calories while high in fiber and nutrients. Carrots are not to blame for the obesity epidemic, so don’t worry about eating too many vegetables. Move your meat and starches over to the side and fill up half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables. Be sure to keep starchy vegetables, like potatoes, corn, and peas, to the recommended serving sizes.

5. Choose a smaller plate to make your portions look larger. Make sure to eat from your plate, not the package, so that you know how many servings you’re eating.

As you become more familiar with the recommended serving sizes, you’ll be able to compare them to the portions you eat and make adjustments to develop healthier eating habits.

Jordyn Forsyth is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She specializes in weight management, chronic disease prevention and health promotion. Jordyn strives to educate, empower and encourage others to make sustainable lifestyle changes. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition Sciences from Baylor University and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.

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