Minding Your Portion Sizes

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Portion Sizes

Portion size is the amount of food that is prepared to be consumed. It may either be larger or smaller than the recommended serving; “serving” meaning the unit to measure food, depending on what group it belongs.

Portion size is probably the most obvious yet always overlooked aspect in someone’s diet. This is due to the fact that most people only watch out for what they eat but are really not conscious of how much they eat. Portion size control is important since no matter how good or healthy the consumed food is, any excess will still be stored in the body or eliminated. It is, thus, a vital part of every diet plan.

The USDA released recommended serving sizes that also you can use as a guide when advised to how much serving of each food your portion should be.

The recommended serving sizes are:

• one-half cup pasta or cooked rice
• one-half cup mashed potatoes
• three to four pieces of small crackers
• one small pancake or waffle
• two medium cookies
• one-half cup of cooked vegetables
• one cup or about four leaves of lettuce
• one small baked potato
• three-fourth cup of vegetable juice
• one medium apple
• one-half mango or grapefruit
• one-half cup of berries
• one cup of yogurt or milk
• one and a half ounces cheddar cheese
• one piece chicken breast
• one medium pork chop
• one-fourth pound hamburger patty

It can be seen that what we mostly take as one serving of a certain food is much bigger than the recommended sizes. This translates to portion sizes being bigger than what is advised. Portion control, usually presented in how many servings, is nothing without the knowledge of these serving sizes.

Another important thing to note, especially for people who are fond of eating out, is that even restaurants are not aware of the right portion size to serve. Usually, the amount of food served is twice the recommended portion size. And needless to say, upsizing obviously messes everything up.

The main purpose of portion control is to get the most out of what you eat without eating too little or too much. Proper control in portion size will usually translate to losing weight and adequate energy to do the day’s task. Losing weight is definitely an effect for lessening the portion sizes one is accustomed to once the proper control is done. Over-all, the right portion control and size will translate to better health – owing to the fact that everything is taken in moderation and that no excess of any type of food is present to burden or harm the body.

Portion sizes of food are largely dependent on the age, sex and amount of physical activity one is subjected to. It is important to know, therefore, what the recommended and proper portion is for an individual. One can’t be eating too much so as to gain unnecessary weight or eat too little and not have the right amount of energy and nourishment to do the day’s tasks. Minding, and eventually controlling, portion size is an integral part of a diet and is a great diet plan in itself.