You may be looking to lose a few pounds and
don’t know where to start. Or, perhaps you are in the process of making lifestyle changes
and want to know how to take your progress to the next level. Regardless, for both of these scenarios, I
highly recommend portion control! Eating the proper serving size is a great first step
for moderate weight loss and to achieve a balanced diet. The good news is, you do not have to carry
around measuring cups or weigh your foods to know the correct serving size.
you can use your hands or common objects to estimate your portions! I’ll show you how! For fruits most men and women need to consume
2 servings per day. A serving is one cup of fresh fruit, one medium whole fruit, or ½
cup dried fruit. 1 cup is about the size of your fist and ½ cup is what would fit in
the palm of your hand. One medium piece of whole fruit, like an apple or an orange, is
the size of a baseball. For vegetables most men need 3 servings and
most women need 2 and ½ servings per day. A serving is 1 cup vegetables cooked or raw,
or 2 cups leafy greens like spinach or lettuce. 2 cups is what would fit in 2 handfuls or
2 fists. A serving of a whole vegetable, like a tomato or potato, is the size of a tennis
ball. For grains most men need 7-8 ounce equivalents
and most women need 6 ounce equivalents.
An ounce equivalent is 1 slice of bread, 1 cup
ready-to-eat cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal like oatmeal or cream
of wheat. A slice of bread is about the size of your flat hand, or the size of a CD case.
½ cup of cooked grains is what would fit in a cupcake wrapper. For proteins most men need 6-6 ½ ounce equivalents
and most women need 5-5 ½ ounce equivalents. An ounce equivalent is 1 egg, ½ cup cooked
beans or lentils, ¼ cup of nuts or seeds, or 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish. 1/4 cup
of nuts or seeds is the size of a golf ball. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is about the
size of your thumb. 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry is about the size of your palm
or a deck of cards.
For dairy products most men and women need
3 servings per day. A serving is 1 cup of milk, 1 cup yogurt, or 1 ½ ounces of cheese.
1 ½ ounces of cheese is the size of 4 dice or about the size of your pointer finger. Now you are ready for your next meal or snack
to make sure you are getting the proper serving size! If you get more than 30 minutes of physical
activity per day or if you have specific medical conditions, meet with your registered dietitian
for a more specific meal plan that fits your lifestyle..