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The Portion Distortion Guide

A List of Serving Sizes


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  • I think the key is to realize that you can have more than one serving of something, you just need to track the correct amount. I am going to post this on my fridge!
    I only wish that the nutrition tracker would take the amount that I have measured and tell me how many servings that is!! Wouldn't that be nice?!!
  • I am confused and would like some one to help me on this..better to comment my page bc ill forget to look at the message board... I dont get those portion sizes... Its looks like portions that starved people eat... i cant eat that little... i have a toasted wheat bread and egg for breakfast with either 2% cup of milk or cup of unsweetened tea....snack either a bannana or grapes or an apple....lunch is a little salad w some chicken and vinagrette and water...snack is again a fruit...then dinner is chicken and 2 vegis...snack of a either yogourt or cottage cheese. Im STILL in my range of calories if not LOWER sooooo i dont get it..eating those portions are going to put be below my needed caloried intake bc i already struggle as it is. I mean if im in my perfect range needed of cals,carbs,protiens,and fats arent i doing good? This confuses me.... I ve told im doing great and dont change what im doing
  • I keep a digital kitchen scale near where I am preparing food. First I weigh the plate and zero the scale, so then when I add food it tells me precisely how much I am getting. I am losing weight this way, which has not happened for 20 years, so I am very happy and willing to fuss around with portion control, which has got to be the key to making this happen. And furthermore, I'm not hungry.
  • I have this article permanantly saved in my favorites and I refer to it often. Thank you!
  • I too had such trouble figuring out portion sizes. That has been my past eating's biggest downfall. I was always a part of the clean plate club. But now I am so much more aware of how much I put on my plate. Thanks Sparkpeople!
  • This all looks good except...
    Juice 1 serving = 6 oz 100% fruit or vegetable juice That's about the size of a: Hockey puck

    HOW do you compare a liquid to a hockey puck? I'm confused. =\
  • This is a helpful tool I will pass on to my friends!
  • Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I had such a hard time judging my meat portions. This was a life saver!!!
  • This is invaluable! A good reminder.
  • The portion guide here at Sparkpeople has been instrumental in giving me a concrete tool to use to lose weight. I highly recommend printing it out and taping it to the refridgerator.
  • a billard ball is a ball used to play pool.
  • billiard ball? what is that?
  • My easiest way to portion control is use the HAND method these each make ONE serving size Put our hand out in front of you and follow this rule:
    Meat/chicken/fish is the size of your palm minus the fingers
    Bread is the size of just your four fingers put together
    Now cup your hand and that is the size for veggies
    Make a fist and that is the size for fruit
    Fats/nuts size of your thumb
    Juice take your hand and pretend to curve around a glass, when your middle finger hits your thumb that is the sixe of a glass you would drink from about 6 oz.
    I use this method when I am out anywhere, if at home I use one of those children's 3 section divided plates, use the large section for veggies, one small for fruit or dessert and one small for meat and if drink juice use a childrens tumbler. If using the hand method, it fits everyone because your hand is fit for YOU and your portions will be perfect everytime.
  • Trying to imagine having a billiard ball sized portion of cereal
    ( and not feeling starved minutes later).
  • I think that portion control is very important to losing weight although I have seen better examples. Weight Watchers has a booklet that relates things to the size of a light bulb or CD for instance. How many people really know what size a hockey puck is? From seeing a game on TV or even live - not too useful. And old fashioned oatmeal - the steel cut type that you cook for a long time, is 1/3 cup dry - not 1/2. Leafy salad greens would equal 1 cup for a small side portion, 2 cups of greens only is about 15 calories; including other salad veggies would be about 35 calories. Starchy vegetables like corn or pinto beans should be measured more like 1/2 cup because starch converts to sugar in the body. I always check the package to see what it states and adjust for that. Some cereals may be 1/2 to 3/4 C and others 1 full cup. You need to know if you are the type of person who likes to have volume and choose foods accordingly. If you are eating 1500 calories per day, then a serving based on a 2,000 calorie day for you would be three fourths of that amount. So high fat foods like cheese or red meat - you won't get much. That's why white meat chicken and fish are so popular - you get to eat more of them for the same calories. Same with having a vegetarian meal now and again. Splitting meals from restaurants can be tricky because even if you eat only half, likely if you eat out often you will go over the calories for the day because the serving contains 3, 4, or 5+ portions depending on the place and if it's an appetizer, lunch or dinner entree. Most chains have very high fat appetizers that are not very healthy; an exception would be a shrimp cocktail - not the same as breaded and deep fried shrimp. Common sense and information. If in doubt, size down to lose weight.

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