Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Portion Control

I am always looking for ways to help others lose weight. Tonight at our TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting, we talked about portion sizes. When was the last time you weighed and measured your food? I was in the hopital last week for a little heart scare. Everything is fine now, but something really caught my eye. The hospital food portions were a lot smaller than I had been serving myself. I had become a victim of Portion Creep! I thought I was pretty accurate in my servings, but I am not. I thought the suggestion at the end of the article was a good idea. I am going to do that this week and let's see what happens.

Healthy Living Articles
Making Sense of Portion Sizes
Many of us tend to underestimate the amount of food we eat and tend to overestimate the recommended portion sizes for many foods.
For example, try pouring out your usual portion of pasta and measure it! Then, compare it to the label portion size. Chances are, you're eating two, three, four or more times the amount on the label.
Relating the portion size of a serving to everyday items is an easy way to visualize what a true portion size looks like.
Woman's fist or baseball - a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
A rounded handful - about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta - this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels
Deck of cards - a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don't count your fingers!) - for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop
Golf ball or large egg - one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts
Tennis ball - about one half cup of ice cream
Computer mouse - about the size of a small baked potato
Compact disc - about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle
Thumb tip - about one teaspoon of peanut butter
Six dice - a serving of cheese
Check book - a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)
Eyeball it! - Take a look at the recommended serving sizes on the new USDA MyPyramid Food Guidance System. Get out a measuring cup or a food scale and practice measuring some of your favorite foods onto a plate, so that you can see how much (or how little!) a ½ cup or 3-ounce serving is. This will help you "eyeball" a reasonable serving!

Children need adequate calories to meet their needs for growth. On the other hand, portions that are too large could lead to overeating or seem overwhelming.
Serving small portions to young children is often the best way for them to learn to eat only until satisfied, instead of overeating. Start kids off with less and encourage them to ask for more if they're still hungry.

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