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The Portion Distortion Guide

A List of Serving Sizes


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    Like others, I'm really glad I found this ... I'm a class act portion distorter. At my husband's B-day dinner party on Tuesday, I ate what I thought was a decent amount of mostly beans, rice, and salad (we had tacos) but ended up with enough calories for 1.5 days! Actually, the visualizations helped me, maybe cause I have those things handy near my kitchen to compare with (okay, not the hockey puck). But I just use the SP meal plan and work with CalorieCount at to get the more precise weights.
  • I've been tracking my nutrition intake and can already see the difference. Now the challenge is to correct the portions sizes. As others have said before me, I also would appreciate the measures in weight or volume (for liquid). I can easily measure 1/2 cup oj but a hockey puck's worth?

    Lastly, it's interesting that this guide lists 1/2 cup cooked grains such as oatmeal when the nutrition tracker clearly uses the guide on the Quaker oats box: 1/2 cup dry=1 cup cooked. Dry cereal too is only 1/2 cup. ALL the boxes list 1 cup as a serving. I guess I have to make sure what I log on the nutrition tracker is the same as what I expect. Controlling the size and amount is the key.
  • I so agree that potions have been growing and it's not good. Even my husband that can eat everything and anything he wants, is complaining about the size of meals when we go out to eat. We do much more sharing or use the $1 menu.
  • this is a great chart......i have been going crazy trying to figure out portion sizes.....should of checked out the sparkpeople resources earlier!!!!!
  • Per the article, " In comparison a "serving" is the amount of food that experts recommend you eat..."
    This is not necessarily true. The charts in the article are helpful, but we should all keep in mind that on packaged food (basically anything with a nutritional label), the serving size has nothing to do with expert recommendations and everything to do with the manufacturer's desire to manipulate the nutritional information (number of calories, amount of fat, etc.) For example, something labeled as "0 calories per serving" really only need to have fewer than 5. Less than 5 and they don't have to list the calories. So if you eat/drink two servings, you could be approaching up to 10 calories without realizing it. That's not the most dramatic example, but it makes the point. That's why so many "single serving" drinks and snacks actually contain more than one serving per the label. It's to make the snack look healthier than it really is.
  • Good grief!!! I wish I had seen this, when I first started here. I am still in shock, at how off I've been. ounce of cheese is the size of 2 dice?! ....well this certainly explains why I've had so much trouble losing weight! This is a reality check of huge proportions, or should i say Portions? I am really in shock. This means, I've been eating enough food for 3 people. ..and my calorie estimates are WAY WAY off!
    I agree with those who prefer to know actual weights for portions and not visual interpretations. I am guided by the nutrition panel on products after all the evidence based research that manufacturers have to now undertake in a competitive market. Using these as an optimum measure and if I choose to eat less, that's my choice.

    Caswalladah, UK
  • I know that getting real about my portions has been a huge asset in my weight loss. I have allowed my appetite to explode over the last few years, and of course my weight exploded right along with that. I am learning to stop eating before I feel "full" and wait a few minutes before I get more food, and am discovering, that I was satisfied and did not need that extra helping. So in respect to this article I am glad to have a way of "eyeballing" certain foods, I eat from a buffet very often where I live, so it can get easy to fool myself, and using a scale in the dining hall is hard to do.
  • I haven't read everyone's comments ... and while I agree portion sizes are an issue in America, I do believe if you exercise more, you can eat more. Even while trying to lose weight. And, the low protein recommendations concerns me. I didn't start losing weight until I doubled my protein and reduced my simple carbs (grains/pasta). IMO, not enough nutrition in grains to make them worth my calories - I'll eat more fibrous veggies! Protein is essential for life, when the body has adequate proteins it helps in making you feel lot better and energizes you.
    CHRISANDLOVIEW- These portion sizes are correct. You're right--they seem very small to the oversized portions people are used to seeing and eating. That makes it pretty easy to get your 5-9 servings of fruit and veggies a day!
  • I really like this site overall, in spite of the fact that I have actually gained weight rather than lost it....I believe it is because I am not doing the usual walk/jog 1-1/2 to 2 hrs a day I used to. And the portion sizes? Feel they are way too small, 'cause if they're correct, then I eat enough salad w/oil&vinegar to last a week in one setting!
  • I just saved this in my fav's in order to easily refer back to it. It is most helpful as my serving sizes have been way off. THANKS SP!!
    Since I have a small kitchen scale and a good set of measuring spoons and cups I just measure out the portion. After a while you get to know by sight what a 1/4 cup or a tablespoon is. I have lost 25 pounds and portion control is a major part of that. I do not always measure my fresh fruit or veggie servings because I feel that those are much more healthy calories, so I eat the whole orange, pear or apple. I don't really like the comparisons for the size of a portion, I would much rather use the measuring cups and spoons.
  • JCF513
    This is helpful to remind us that portion sizes are important. But I think the one thing that it doesn't take into account is that sometimes we are going to be hungrier than others. Where does listening to our body come into play? I know I am overweight because I overeat. If I didn't, then I wouldn't be overweight, but I also think it has a lot to do with being out of touch with what my body needs. I don't think this article is getting any closer to that, but rather telling us to substitute our addition with arbitrary portion sizes.
  • I switched over to this website from the Shape plan because it seemed a little more comprehensive and user friendly. The only way I've found this site lacking is that it doesn't use weight measurements for serving sizes nearly enough. I agree with the two users that commented before me. I'm not comparing anything to a hockey puck - tell me the weight of a serving and I'll measure it on my scale.

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