Portion Size Still Counts

Man Eating
Portion Size Still Counts
Portion Size Still Counts

Portion Size Still Counts

A recent study found that the larger a portion served to people, the more they were likely to eat. Try to avoid humongous helpings! Some tips for doing so are:

  • Buy smaller packages of chips or cookies, or divide larger packages into single size serving bags.
  • When making a large batch of something for freezing, freeze it in single serving containers.
  • Eat on smaller plates so portions look more substantial.
  • In restaurants, ask if small or half size portions are available.

Many feel if they are over weight they may have a metabolic disorder such as a thyroid disorder. However, in most cases this is not true. There are cases like this. If you think it’s possible, see your doctor to rule this out.  The sad facts are that most obese or over weight people are simply eating too much for their nutritional needs.

There are people who naturally burn more fat. They have a great metabolism. Sounds unfair, but is just the truth. People with this genetic ability simply burn off calories as fast as they consume them. More commonly are those who’s bodies simply store excess calories as fat. These characteristics do have a genetic base.

Fad Dieting

Fad diets may cause an initial weight loss, but the problem begins when one attempts to maintain their weight. In most cases when one finishes a fad diet, they will put the weight back on. When this occurs you have begun a process that is very bad for your weight loss efforts. You will lose lean muscle mass as you lose weight, but when you regain the weight, you will replace the lost muscle mass with fat!  This decreases your calorie burning ability even more.

Muscle burns fat around the clock. Another reason to avoid fad diets is they can be very restrictive and one can easily become bored with it.

Portion Size and Servings

What’s the difference?

A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat. There is no standard portion size and no single right or wrong portion size.

A serving is a standard amount used to help give advice about how much to eat. It also identifies how many calories and nutrients are in a food.

Suppose you had dinner at an Italian restaurant last night. You ordered spaghetti with meatballs. While you were waiting for your order, you ate 2 slices of garlic bread. How can you tell if this dinner is too much food for you?

Think about your plateful of spaghetti and meatballs. Estimate the amounts of spaghetti, sauce, and meat. You may decide, for example, that the spaghetti portion was about 2 cups, the tomato sauce looked like about 1 cup, and the meatballs were about 6 ounces. With the 2 slices of garlic bread, you now have an idea about how much you ate for dinner.

Was it too much? Might be some food for thought.

Choosing a Sensible Portion Size

When eating out:

  • Choose a small or medium portion size. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages as well. Remember that water is always a good option for quenching your thirst.
  • If a main dish portion size is larger than you want, order an appetizer or side dish instead. Or share a main dish with a friend.
  • Resign from the clean your plate club! When you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest. If you can chill the extra food right away, take it home in a doggie bag.
  • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side so you can add only as much as you want.
  • Order an item from the menu instead of the all-you-can-eat buffet.

At home: Measurement Confusion

  • Once or twice, measure your typical portion size of foods you eat often. Use standard measuring cups. This will help you estimate the portion size of these foods and similar foods.
  • Be especially careful to limit portions of foods high in calories, such as cookies, cakes, other sweets, and fats, oils, and spreads.
  • Try using a smaller plate for your meal.
  • Put sensible portions on your plate at the beginning of the meal, and don’t take seconds.

Choosing sensible portions is a key to controlling calorie intake and getting or keeping your weight in a healthy range.

See also:
Diets, Diets, DIETS!
Portion Sizes

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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