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Watch Your Food Portion Sizes at Meal Time


By Peter Reyes

You know that you have to consume less fatty food and move more in order to lose weight. But even eating truckloads of fruits may lead to gain weight. Therefore, one critical step in eating a healthy balanced diet is to know what is a healthy portion size of a particular food.

Many dieters are not good at recognizing food portion sizes. They tend to underestimate the amount of food they consume and may eat two or more times the recommended daily food intake. As a result, weight loss seems impossible to achieve no matter how hard they try.

Here’s how to use your hand or common everyday items as a point of reference to help you accurately size your servings, and avoid falling into “portion distortion” trap.


What Is a Healthy Portion Size?


½ cup of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.


1 medium apple is the size of a baseball.


3 oz portion of meat, fish or poultry is about the size of a deck of cards or an audio tape.


1 tsp of butter or oil is the size of your thumb tip.


1½ oz of low-fat or fat-free cheese is the size of a pair of dice.


1 oz of ready-to-eat cereal can vary from ¼ cup to 1¼ cups (always check food label).


1 single-serving bagel is the size of a hockey puck.


1 pancake is the size of a CD.


⅓ cup of nuts equals a level handful for the average adult.



Use these healthy eating tips to help you make portion control simple:

1. Never eat food out of the container. You tend to eat more if you cannot “eyeball” the portion size. Instead, put food on a plate, and try not to eat in front of the TV or computer.


2. Studies have shown that we are likely to eat more when using bigger serving dishes. A surefire way to control your portion size is use smaller, salad-size plates, bowls and glasses. A smaller dish tricks your brain into thinking that you are having more food.


3. When eating out, order the smallest portion available. If it is not possible, either ask for a doggie bag and take half of your meal home or split the meal with a friend.


4. Store leftovers into single servings instead of putting them in one big container. That way, you can easily limit how much you are eating when you take out leftovers to reheat.



Remember, watching your food portion sizes and exercising portion control is the key to a successful weight loss or weight control plan.



what is a healthy food portion size

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