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Healthy Portion Sizes for when You’re on the Go

Even when we are eating a healthy diet, it is important to pay attention to our portion sizes. Too much of even the healthiest of foods can still pack on extra weight. Unfortunately, when we eat out at restaurants or grab a snack when you’re on the go, it isn’t always obvious as to what is the “right amount” for portion control. Restaurants overload our plates with ridiculously large portions and if we ever dare to get a meal at a fast food or casual dining outlet, super-sizing is standard operation. Unless you carry a nutrition scale, measuring cup or measuring spoon in your back pocket, serving sizes can be anything but easy to decipher.

When writing “GET REAL” and STOP Dieting!, I discovered Lisa Young –  author of The Portion Teller.  She was kind enough to let me use some of her information in the toolkit portion of the book to help people overcome the challenge of visualizing portion sizes. Lisa believes that using every-day items as a visual guide for portions is a much more effective way of controlling portion size than to visualize the actual referenced measurement. Below, I’ve provided you with some common foods, their healthy portion sizes and the every-day item you can use to visualize that portion size.

How do you ensure healthy portion sizes? Do you think this guide helps?

Fruit and Fibrous Vegetables
1 c vegetables, leafy greens or berries Baseball
Woman’s Fist
1 medium-size fruit Tennis Ball
Grains and Starchy Carbohydrates
½ c pasta, rice, cereal Rounded Handful
1 slice whole grain bread CD Case
1 potato Computer Mouse
1 oz snacks/pretzels Rounded Handful
Tennis Ball
3 c air-popped popcorn 3 Baseballs
Protein and Dairy
3 oz meat or chicken Deck of Cards
Cassette Tape
1 oz meat or chicken Matchbook
3 oz grilled fish Checkbook
1 oz hard cheese 4 Dice
Tube of Lipstick
1 oz sliced cheese or deli meat CD
1/2 c non-fat yogurt 1/2 Baseball
2 Tbsp hummus Ping Pong Ball
Shot Glass
1/2 c cooked beans 1/2 Baseball
Healthy Fats
1 Tbsp mustard Thumb
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil Die
1/4 c nuts Golf Ball

Info Source: Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD. The Portion Teller, New York: Broadway Books; 2005.

Want more tools to eat healthy? Get Real and Stop Dieting! is your guide!

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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , , , , , ,