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The Portion Distortion Guide

A List of Serving Sizes

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  • ANBRAMAMA
    This is great. I grew up amongst obsessive calorie counters during the starve yourself no pain no gain 80's. Because of my love of food and my desire not to kill myself over my weight I have rejected many diet and exercise plans. To me this makes the most sense. I have to have variety in my flavors, I have to be able to enjoy a cookie or piece of cake on occasion otherwise I go overboard binge and throw out any healthy habits I managed to pick up. This is an excellent way to going about it. Calorie counting is not at the forefront for me. I eat according to portions and serving sizes on nutrition labels (if they are sensible,otherwise I make the potion smaller or don't eat it.) Then I enter them into the nutrition tracker I haven't gone over on my calories yet. I'm still learning but I'm losing weight and feeling better. I think this is the way for me to go.
  • This is a really good article, I beleive knowing what a serving is make a person reach their goals. Thanks.
  • APARKE41
    You know, I used to totally agree that having to measure forever would be depressing. But I've been doing it now for so long that I find myself doing it even on the days I don't track. It's really not too depressing, it just seems daunting while you're trying to get in the habit of doing it. Now, I truly want to know how much I'm eating, so I do it regardless.
  • Manxmag, I know that I got to this point by NOT obsessing over food, so to speak. I just ate whatever I wanted, without concerning myself with the portion sizes or whether the foods were really good for me. I think I need to be obsessive right now to get my mind around what I'm eating. So, this list could be good for that. BUT - for me, the measuring cups and spoons have to be a part of what I do. Sooner or later I might be able to "eyeball" the food, but right now, at this time, obsessing about what I eat has to be the norm for me.
  • I think comparing foods to other objects leads to even more portion distortion. I mean really when is the last time you saw broccoli shaped like a billiard ball? Mashed pots sure easy to see not so much with other food. I'll stick w/ weighing and measuring when possible and after doing that at home for awhile its easier to see the size at a restaurant.
  • EAHARRIS1
    I htink people would be wise to actually measure and/or weigh their food at first, so they can visualize one ounce of cheese or 1/4 cup milk in a glass. Some of these comparisons are pretty iffy - It's pretty hard to compare a half bun or slice of bread to an index card, since they differ so much in thickness. Although these comparisons are better than not thinking about portion size at all, it is pretty easy to have a false sense that you are eating less than you actually are.
  • SJOR140
    If it helps any for those of you that can't visualize hockey puck juice, a small baby bottle is 4 0z. Oneand 1/2 would give you a hockey puck. Or just use the 1st example it give (measurements). Thanks for the list. I was looking for one. My biggest problem with food is portion control-I like to eat too many portions.
  • BRIGITTEFIRES47
    It doesn't help that these measurements are wrong. A piece of meat the size of a deck of cards is closer to 4 oz--and has been since this comparison was made in the 1940's. Also, leaner meat is denser and therefore heavier, meaning you could fit 6 oz into that deck of cards!
  • Pretty good measuring cues. I have to go by sight on everything. I am on a volume-based program anyway, and have been trying to make sense out of the 1 cup = an aerosol can cap, type measurements, for years ...
  • A very useful article. I've lost some weight since I've been more careful with portion sizes. Print the article and pin it up near where you prepare/serve your meals.
  • How very depressing all this is! Surely the aim of Sparkpeople is to help us to lose weight and become healthier without obsessing on food? I do not intend to add unnecessary stress to my life by worrying about the number of billiard balls I've eaten.

    As far as the metric/imperial debate goes - think yourselves lucky, we weigh ourselves in stones here! Not pebbles, not rocks but stones. How big is a stone? Well it's 14lb. Yep, really.
  • Thank you Trican for the links! I just realized my baseball sizes were more along the size of a softball!
  • ROBBIEJO2
    billard ball? hockey puck? juice the size of a hockey puck? I like that you tried to give us visual cues, but they didn't work for me. I think I'll stick with cups, table and tea spoons.
  • P.S. If you don't know what a hockey puck, tennis ball, golf ball, shot glass, etc., etc. looks like--visit a local store and check them out--you don't have to buy anything, just take a good long look at each item (and write down measurements if you want). You can probably find most of such things at a Walmart, Target, etc. store and/or a sporting goods store near you. You can always use your measuring cups and scales at home, but these guidelines are very helpful when eating away from home to give you a very good "guesstimate" of how much to eat of whatever is available at the time.
  • Portion control is one of the very important aspects of not only losing weight, but in maintaining your weight loss.

    I have found a great souce for a "cheat sheet" to keep portion control reminders in front of you. You can print it out in either a full sheet (fridge) size or a wallet size (or both). It shows pictures of the portion sizes and the number of desired daily servings of grains, veggies, fruits, dairy, meats & protein, and healthy fats..

    www.prevention.com/portioncontrol/pdf/PC
    -print-fridge-pdf (for fridge size) or
    www.prevention.com/portioncontrol/pdf/PC
    -print-wallet-pdf


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