Over the past 20 years, portion sizes have grown. Foods that you buy at the grocery store, at restaurants, at home and at the movies all have increased over the years. Studies show that when faced with larger portions, people have the tendency to consume more calories which can lead to weight gain.
There are ways that you can control your portions. Many restaurants serve more food than one person needs at one meal. Take control of the amount of food that ends up on your plate by splitting an entree with a friend. Or, ask your server for a to-go container and wrap up half your meal as soon as it's brought to the table. If you order an entree, take the leftovers home, refrigerate and enjoy another meal or a snack tomorrow.
It is easy to misjudge portion sizes. In order to more easily track how much you are actually eating, follow these easy comparisons in order to judge how many servings are on your plate:
1 cup fruit/veggies = baseball
½ cup = lightbulb
2 tbsp butter/peanut butter = golf ball
1 tbsp = poker chip
1 slice of bread = CD case
3 oz chicken/meat = deck of cards
3 oz fish – check book
3 oz muffin or biscuit = hockey puck
1.5 oz cheese = 3 dice
And don’t forget that when creating a meal, ½ of your plate should be veggies and fruit, ¼ of your plate protein, and ¼ plate grains/starches.
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By Kasia Ciaston, Loyola University Dietetic Intern