Are You In Proper Portion?

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Kashi with BlueberriesI know you think that’s a typo and should say PROportion. I really mean portion. When we’re serving ourselves at home it’s easy to get heavy handed with milk, cereal, pasta, rice. Funny how we usually don’t have those issues with veggies and fruit. Things we have to pour or scoop seem to be hard to control.

Most restaurant meals are 2 to 3 (or more!) servings all in one. Seeing large servings all the time makes it hard to judge what a real serving should actually look like on a plate. If you read food labels, that helps a bit to judge calories and serving sizes in containers.

You don’t usually have food label when you’re out and I’ll guess you don’t want to carry measuring cups with you in case of emergency. People would point and stare. 😉 Here are some ways to estimate portion sizes so you know how much to eat and how much to save for later.

  • Protein – 3 – 4 oz which is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand
  • Starches – 1/2 cup or approximately 150 calories or half the size of your fist
  • Fruit – 1/2 cup which is about the size of half a baseball
  • Veggies – 1 cup or about the size of a tennis ball
  • Fats – 1 Tablespoon which is about the size of your thumb from the last joint to the tip

When I pack my meals or serve them at home, I don’t usually weigh my food anymore. It really can help in the beginning or in contest prep when you need to be strict with calorie counting. Now I use estimates for the most part since this is every day life. If I buy a package of meat that weighs a pound, I cook it and divide into 4 relatively equal portions. I have plastic containers in 1 and 2 cup sizes. I fill those halfway or all the way when packing my lunch and snacks.

I always measure my fats though since those are too calorie dense and easily over pourable. I keep a tablespoon measuring spoon on my counter and use that. I also know that 22 – 23 almonds is the proper portion size. Yes, I count out my almonds! It’s simple to estimate if you know what to aim for and don’t let restaurant portions make you feel like your meal size is inadequate in comparison.

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