Tips For Estimating Food Serving Sizes

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In order to control and maintain your weight, you need to consume the right food choices in the proper portions. These tips enable you to approximate portion sizes in order to avoid overindulging.

Foods in the bread and pasta/noodle group. This food group can become a problem. People tend to eat too much starch, such as pasta and bread. The following is an overall inventory of portion amounts to enable you to approximate the proper portions.

– 1 cup potatoes/ pasta/rice = ice cream scoop

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– 1 pancake = size of a CD

– 1 cup cereal = size of your fist

– 1 slice bread = 1 serving

Dairy products. It is wise to exercise caution when it comes to dairy intake, since this food group often contains a lot of fat. The following are portion amount comparisons for the dairy group to enable you to restrict your intake.

– 1 1/2 ounces cheese = 3 dominoes

– 1 ounce cheese = your thumb

– 1 cup ice cream = hard baseball

Veggies. You can overeat any food group, even things such as vegetables, which are very healthy. These are some tools to help you compare serving sizes and estimate your daily servings of vegetables.

– 1 cup salad = size of fist

– 1 baked potato = size of fist

– Half cup broccoli = a light bulb

– Half cup serving = 6 spears of asparagus, 7-8 baby carrots, or one cob of corn

Fruits. Foods in the fruit group are naturally loaded with sugar. Therefore you must remain cautious about portion amounts too. These are some comparisons for you on the various sizes of fruit servings.

– Half a cup grapes = a light bulb

– Half a cup fruit salad = filled cupcake wrapper

– One medium fruit = size of a tennis ball

A source of protein, such as meat or soy. In the food categories, meat is easily over-consumed. People frequently consume twice the daily recommended serving in this category. Make sure to stick with the portion size comparisons so that you are able to figure out how much protein or meat you will need on your plate.

– 2 tablespoon peanut butter = golf ball

– 1 tablespoon peanut butter = top of your thumb

– 3 ounces cooked meat (including fish) = deck of cards

– 1 serving of chicken (3 ounces) = chicken leg or thigh

Fatty foods and snack choices. It is important to limit the consumption of junk food. {Just a small amount of fats and sugars really acts to increase your girth. The comparisons in size will help limit your intake of processed sugars and fats.

– 1 teaspoon butter = top of your thumb

– 2 tablespoons salad dressing = golf ball

– 1 ounce nuts/candy = small handful

– 1 ounce chips/pretzels = two small handfuls

– Half a cup chips/crackers/popcorn = large handful

– One third of a cup chips/crackers/popcorn = medium handful

Estimating a serving size is useless if you can’t remember the recommended servings that are suggested for food groups in a given day. Look it up on the latest food pyramid recommendations chart (based on your sex, and how old you are) to find out how much is a healthy portion to consume for foods in the above mentioned groups. Next, utilize the portion amount comparisons included to make certain you aren’t overindulging. 


Tiffany Provost writes about healthy diet and other health and fitness tips for HowToDoThings.com.


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