Portion Control

November 10, 2014

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UNH's dish used in dining halls with sections of color illustrating healthy portions
Photo credit: Healthy UNH

In this day and age, it’s extremely difficult to get an appropriate serving while eating out. Portions can be up to three times what you should be eating in one sitting, making it difficult to stay on track with eating a healthful diet. Even when you are cooking for yourself, it can be difficult to estimate what a proper serving size is. Here are some helpful tips to reference while you’re eating out and even when you’re making meals for yourself at home

  • Eat your meals on a smaller plate. Research shows that if you serve up your breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a smaller plate, you are more likely to give yourself a smaller portion. More information on plate size vs. portions can be found on choose my plate
  • While trying to eyeball correct portions, keep these references in mind. A portion of lean meat should be around 3 oz., or the size of a deck of cards. A serving of grains should be a ½ cup, or about the size of a light bulb. When it comes to vegetables, load your plate up! They are full of fiber, which will help keep you full, and unless they’re coated with butter or oil, you can have as much as will fill you up. WebMD has a great printable cut-out available with references to portion sizes that you can carry with you on the go.
  • Yes, large portions typically mean more bang for your buck, but instead of eating the whole meal at one, eat half and then take the rest with you for dinner or leftovers the next day! This will provide you with two full meals and will help keep you from overeating.
  • 20 minutes before you eat, drink a full glass of water. This will begin to fill your stomach so you aren’t ravenous when you begin your meal.
  • After you eat half of your serving, drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes. It takes some time for your brain to process that your stomach is full. So waiting a while may stop you from overeating and feeling sick.

To read up on some more tips about portion control, visit cooking lights website.

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