Portion sizes are an important part of any weight loss program. It isn’t always clear to know what a proper serving size is, but with the right resources, you can find out. By simply managing portion control, you are more inclined to lose weight.
Portion guides are great resources that provide visual representations of a single serving. Mayo Clinic has some great examples:
- One serving of lean meat (3 ounces) is equal to a deck of cards.
- One serving of fruit (1/2 cup) is equal to a tennis ball.
- A serving of vegetables (1/2 cup) is equal to a baseball.
- A serving of pasta or cereal (1/2 cup) is the size of a hockey puck.
Understanding Portion Control
One of the best ways to understand portions is to look at the nutrition labels on the food you have at home.
- Remove the food from the package and diligently measure a single portion. This will give you a good idea of what a proper portion actually looks like.
- Compare that amount to what you normally consume. The differences may be significant.
By visually getting used to proper serving sizes, you’re more likely to make better decisions when serving meals or dining out.
Strategies to Control Portion Sizes
- Double check nutrition labels before making meals or consuming snacks. Remove a single serving from a larger package and put the rest away.
- When dining at home, serve one portion and store the leftovers immediately. This will make having second helpings less likely.
- When eating out, consider ordering the lunch portion, sharing a dinner, or ordering off of the appetizer menu. This will help you avoid consuming too much food in one sitting.
- Avoid eating while doing other activities, like watching a movie or sitting at your desk. Savor the experience of eating by only consuming food when you’re aware of how much you’re eating.
Understanding portion sizes will help you make informed choices during your medical weight loss program. It will also help you with meal planning for long-term weight management. Start learning about portion control today to maintain your weight loss goals!
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