Monday, April 2, 2012

What's Really the Perfect Portion?

You've heard me say it a lot - Portion control is the biggest key to eating right. However, it is really difficult to be disciplined about your portions unless you walk around with a measuring cup (Hey, do what you have to. I'm just saying). And people constantly go "Eat all your meals at home", but the reality is that in the business and dating world we live in, a lot of our dinners are spent in restaurants. This is why it is important to be able to gauge a portion size with something you can easily  carry around. Like say your hand? Even the plate will do.

I always think that a balanced meal on a plate should look like the photo above: half of the plate should be veggies or fruits, a quarter should be lean protein, a quarter should be carbs, and you can have about a glass of dairy. Yes, that does mean that your pounded yam serving should not take over the whole plate. And neither should be meat in the stew.

Now when you are dealing with a mixture that can't quite look like the picture above, the best thing might be to judge is with your hand. Whenever you read "1 serving of..." anywhere, it usually means the following (and this is just a rough estimate to get you started):
  • For carbs, a fistful - rice, pasta, yams, potatoes, etc.
  • For protein, the size of your palm without the fingers - chicken, beans, fish, etc.
  • For veggies and fruits, the size of your fist - spinach, broccoli, apples, etc.
Note that for single items like bread, it is usually 1 slice. And although cereal can differ, I would use one fistful for cereal as well.

Liquids are a little different, but for large glasses, it may be best to assume two servings per glass, and for small glasses, assume one serving.

We will talk about portions in more detail soon. Stay posted. Till then, have a great week!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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