If you read the labels, double check portion size. You might be surprised at what you find. For instance, if you’ve lived on Ramen noodles in college or weekends, you’ll be surprised to find that half a brick of noodles is one portion. If you’re like most people, you probably thought the entire package was one portion. Portion size can make the difference in weight loss or nutritional intake, but it can be hard to do. There are some simple ways to help you identify one portion.
Use your hand as a portion monitor.
The size of your hand is proportional to the size of your body frame. A petite five-foot, 100-pound woman will have a smaller hand than a burly six-foot 200-pound man, so it automatically is personalized. While a level handful is one single serving of nuts, a heaping handful is about one serving of dry pasta. A two finger scoop is approximately two tablespoons or just the right amount for one serving of peanut butter and a one finger scoop perfect for butter. The palm of your hand can be used for the serving size for meat.
Why is it important to know portion size?
Everyone has his or her own personal downfalls. Maybe you’re a plate cleaner or even worse, the garbage disposal to finish the food leftover. Most people, however, find that portion control is one of the reasons they fail to lose weight. Having a few chips isn’t a problem, having more than a single portion at one sitting is. Did you know that just 15 chips is one serving and has a whopping 160 calories. You can see how not knowing can increase your caloric intake. Getting proper nutrition is also important and too small of portions of healthy foods is also a problem.
The size of your plate makes a difference.
If you use a smaller plate, it makes the right portion look huge. A larger plate will make it look like you aren’t getting much. Another place to be aware of portion size is when eating in restaurants. While fancier restaurants have smaller portions, mom-and-pop and restaurant chains often offer larger amounts than the serving portion. It can be multiple times the actual serving size. Super-sizing everything has also taken its toll on Americans and flies in the face of portion control.
- Use your fist to indicate how much starchy food to eat. Food like squash, potatoes, corn and peas are easy to measure. For women, one fist is one portion and for men use two fists.
- If you’re eating in a restaurant, ask if you can order off the children’s menu or if they have a smaller size. Some people order the regular size, share a meal or ask for a go box and pack half their meal immediately when they get it.
- Watching portion control isn’t enough, you have to be aware of all the add-ons, like sauces and toppings. Not only do all the extras add weight, it’s almost impossible to judge the portions used.
- Portion control works both ways. It ensures you don’t overeat, but also get adequate nutrition. Pay special attention to getting the portion of vegetables you need. Half your plate should be vegetables with ¼ protein and ¼ starches.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness