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The Portion Distortion Guide

A List of Serving Sizes


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  • i agree with the hand measurement i i scooped a hand full of almonds once and then counted used my scale and they were exactly one ounce
  • Well this was VERY helpful to me, and thanks
  • weogh and measure weigh and measure weigh and measure..and carry the stuff with you ..i have a collapsible cup and stuff i carry in a little bag..weigh and measure!!
    the lady mary
  • Interesting measurements. It's handy to have some real-life comparisons for the suggested portions. Personally, I prefer my scale and measuring utensils. Of course, those don't work if I'm eating out! Once I've measured something, I put it in a familiar container (I get restaurant-service disposables) so I have a future reference.

    I'm not convinced of some of the portions listed here, though. A "deck of cards" of ground beef is NOTHING like the same (weight) portion as a dense piece of steak. I'm not sure I could get through a piece of my favorite flank steak of that size!

    And it's chancy to lump "breads" together: I favor a brand which lists a much smaller portion on their label. One "serving" per their calculations is 3 slices! And those 3 slices are less nutritionally "costly" than ONE slice of typical bread. Not that I eat much bread in any case.

    And, for whoever it was who was concerned with the whipped topping...I understand the variance you're making...but even so, for the nutritional density of the stuff, you could pretty much sit and eat it by tablespoonsfuls out of the container! It's not especially "costly", really.

    I still think the gold standard is the labeling and your own measuring tools. If you have to "wing it" in restaurants or social venues, this is a quick-and-dirty guide...but I wouldn't rely on it on a day-to-day basis. And I absolutely would *not* be eating the daily servings listed! (who dreamed those up, anyway!?!)
    I really enjoyed this article.
  • + I find the article very informative. I have been using it for years. I do check back once in a while to refresh my "standards". Some of the comments I find amusing.
  • I have never seen a hockey puck and at our house we have a box full of die, one has 32 sides. I think using a scale or a measuring cup and learning what it looks like is just as easy as serving yourself.
    Once in a while I look at my food and I measure it to see if I am right..
    Guess work is mess work and I do not like to mess up with my portion sizes.
  • A good reminder and reference. I know what sizes the examples are and I think I can still estimate and stay pretty close.

    Never heard so much whining. Jeeze. Nobody said you had to follow these guidelines unless YOU choose to lose a few lbs. Look around next time you're at a party or restaurant buffet and see who have full plates and larger than average portions of food and then check their waistlines.
  • This article only shows how important it is to measure EVERYTHING!!!
  • Ouch...Oh I know I need to know, but man oh man do i know why I have not been loosing! Deck of cards! whew...two dice!! Oh man, got to be strong, good thing I just read the 'calorie' article before this one, at least it shows large platefuls of food that are low in calories. A deck of cards! who eats like that! That is one very small steak....I would have to go vegetarian for a week to have the size of steak I want! What is that, lunch meat? 1 weiner? It is not like you can whip air into it to make it larger...hmm maybe with additives to burger, but still! I'm a meat and potatoes gal, I am begining to wonder how on earth I am going to do this. sigh...discouraging.
    Nice overview, but I would have been more helped if you had provided us with the real measurements too. Healthy Diet Habits, habit 1, encourages me to buy a measuring set and I have just purchased one, but it lets me measure cups, tablespoons and teaspoons.
    i am still confussed about things like whipped toppings is a one tablespoon serving a whipped tablespoon which would be nothing but air or a liquid before as in canned toppings
    I think the portion size on the 1 bread =1/2 bagel is wrong. Bagels are very dense and I have read that 1 bagel can equal 5 slices of bread.
  • I don't worry so much about portion sizes when I add vegetables or fruit (except avocado) to my soups or other foods. Veggies like kale, broccoli, mushrooms and garlic fight cancer and provide other health benefits, so the more the merrier. Also, it's damn near hard to overdo it on the healthy stuff.
    I do, however, weigh the 1 oz of nuts I eat daily, along with any other calorically dense foods.
    Too bad I hadn't figured this out years ago.
    This is so helpful! Definitely cuts down on the portion size confusion.

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