Article and Video on Portion Size Control for Personal Training Vancouver
This is an informative article and video to help people be more conscientious about their food consumption in relation to their activity level, metabolism and other factors.
Healthy Portion Size Control: Learn Serving Sizes to Manage Weight and Improve Health
Food Portion Sizes are Smaller than You Think!
If you want to lose weight or improve your health, you must first learn portion size control.
Restaurants in America have increased serving portions by 2-3 fold in the past 15 years, putting a lot more on our plate than we should be eating at a single meal. Often, a seemingly healthy salad will contain more calories and fat than we need in an entire day! Its no wonder that we carry these bad habits into our homes when we fix lunches and suppers for ourselves.
It is not difficult to learn the appropriate serving sizes for each of the major food groups, drinks, and even prepackaged foods. In order to achieve proper portion size control, all you’ll need are:
(1) a measuring cup;
(2) kitchen scale;
(3) your hands;
(4) a few minutes to learn how to read the Nutrition Facts information printed on the packaging of foods that have been processed in any way and sold in grocery stores.
United States Department of Agriculture Food Pyramid
How to Measure a Serving Size of Fresh Fruit
You can use your hands to determine a serving size of fresh fruit. Cup your hand, and the amount of fruit that you can fit inside is a single serving of fruit. A medium-sized apple would fit. A small bunch of grapes, would also qualify as a serving. A banana, actually, constitutes two fruit servings.
You may be thinking, but fresh fruit is healthy! Why should I worry about portion size control with fruit? In fact, diabetics must calculate the number of carbohydrates they ingest in relation to insulin or other medication they take each day. Eat too much fruit, and blood sugar will rise too high. Other medical conditions also may require a person to keep a food diary or restrict food intake.
Even if you are otherwise in good health, it will be of benefit to be mindful of how much you are eating and to learn healthy portion size control. Overeating, even healthy foods, is a habit that should be broken. If you wish to lose weight, every calorie counts.
A serving size of fruit is approximately 80-100 calories. Double or triple that, and those healthy calories may sabotage your weight loss goals.
How to Measure a Serving Size of Fresh Vegetables
Determining a serving size of vegetables is slightly more difficult than for fresh fruit. This is because some root vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and other sweet vegetables like corn and sweet peas are starchy and contain more carbohydrates than vegetables such as leafy greens, radishes, onions, and peppers. For these reasons, it is particularly important to learn appropriate portion size control.
A cup of lettuce or leafy greens is a serving size. This will not usually result in many calories, and no fat, unless you add salad dressing!
The serving size for other vegetables, such as carrots, onions, peppers, radishes, etc., is 1/2 cup chopped. Again, these types of vegetables will not usually have much impact on blood sugar and are not calorie-dense or high on the glycemic index. Turning to potatoes and corn-on-the-cob, a serving size of these vegetables is the size of a baseball. This is similar to the fruit example above, what will fit in a cupped hand.
Anything you add to your vegetables (butter, bacon, sour cream) will obviously add calories and fat.
How to Determine a Serving Size of Food With Your Hands
How to Measure a Serving Size of Protein
In general, a serving size of meat-based protein is 3 ounces (compare this to the gigantic 15 ounce portions they serve at restaurants!) If you have a kitchen scale, you can achieve healthy portion size control fairly easily. Otherwise, you can make an eyeball guess, by thinking of a deck of cards. A serving of steak, chicken, tuna, or pork should not be any larger.
One serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons, or the size of a ping-pong ball. Its pretty easy to go overboard, and peanut butter is loaded with fat and sometimes sugar, too. Be careful!
A single egg is one serving of protein. That’s pretty easy to determine. Mother Nature has done the measuring for us!
For vegetarians, a 1/2 cup of cooked legumes/beans is a single serving size. Most beans are low-fat, unlike other protein choices, but they can have more of an impact on blood sugar levels as their carbohydrate count is higher.
How to Judge Proper Serving Sizes of Food
How to Measure a Serving Size of Dairy Products
Dairy is delicious, but can be loaded with fat. For a healthful diet, it is important to carefully watch your portion sizes of dairy products. It is very easy to exceed healthy portion size control. Here’s how to measure a serving size of dairy products.
Serving sizes of yogurt and milk are one cup, each. Remember, if Venti lattes are your habit, you could be gulping down over 3 cups of milk in each one! It may be worth cutting down a size or two.
Cheese is so wonderful, its easy to exceed serving sizes! No more than 2 ounces of cheese is a serving size. Think of dominoes. You can have 3 dominoes of cheese. Maybe you want to trade some of your other dairy servings for more cheese.
Ice cream is also a dieter’s downfall. If you are going to indulge, a serving size is approximately the size of a baseball. Not two or three baseballs! I suggest getting a really small bowl so that the scoop looks extra big.