Friday, August 21, 2009

Portion Sizes and Serving Sizes?

Did you know that less than 5% of the total population can gauge serving sizes correctly? Knowing serving sizes and understanding how much you should be eating is vital to not only losing weight but maintain weight as well.

People have a tendency to overestimate the recommended serving size and consequently may eat more than what the body really needs. So what is a serving size or portion size anyway? Health professionals use "serving size" to refer to the amount recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Canadian Food Guide for each food group.

It is often difficult to calculate food quantities and serving portions. If the food comes pre-packaged, the label will tell you the quantity of a single serving of food, along with how many servings are in the package. When cooking from scratch, the quantity of a single serving is harder to determine. Knowing serving sizes for foods can actually prevent you from gaining weight. Since you can't carry measuring tools with you everywhere, how can you figure out serving sizes? The following chart can help you...just print it off and stick in your bag, tape it to the inside of a cupboard or stick it on the fridge. No more guesswork! You can now visually estimate a serving size for a lot of commonly eaten foods.

Food Item Per Serving - Everyday Object
3 oz Meat, Chicken (after cooking) =
Deck of Cards or Palm of Child’s Hand

5 oz Meat, Chicken (after cooking) = 2 Decks of Cards or Palm of Adult Hand

3 oz Fish = Regular-Sized Cheque Book

½ cup Starchy Foods (such as rice, ice cream, mashed potatoes and other grains) = 1/2 Baseball (not to be confused with a softball!)

Potato = Computer Mouse or Size of Small Fist

1 Medium Fruit = Normal Fist or Baseball

1 oz Cheese = 4 Stacked Dice or Small Matchbox

Salad Dressing, Mayonnaise, Butter,

Margarine, Oil, Peanut Butter = Tip of Thumb, 1 Dice or ½ Ping Pong Ball

1 slice of Bread = Cassette Tape

Bagel = Hockey Puck

1 Pancake = CD/DVD

1 cup Dry Cereal = Normal Fist or Baseball

1 cup Vegetables = Normal Fist or Baseball

Nuts, Raisins, Pretzels = Amount held in Cupped Hand

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