This post will be the first in the series of 10 from SCAN (Sport, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition).
While the quality of food we eat is important, so the the quantity, or amount, we eat. With food, you can definitely eat too much of a food at expense of others. This is where portion control comes into play. Portion control means making dietary choices in a way that controls the amount of food you eat so that you eat the correct number of calories for your body. Each food group has a range of portion sizes that are healthy and realistic. For example, the correct portion for any and all fats and oils is 1 tablespoon. 3 ounces are a good portion for a piece of lean protein. 1/2 cup of fresh fruit is typically the norm. You can even compare household items to your food to make sure your portions are correct. Here are some examples:
- 3 ounces poultry/ beef= a deck of cards
- 3 ounces fish= a checkbook
- 1 ounce of nuts= cupped palm of your hand
- 1 baked potato= a computer mouse
- 1 dinner roll= a yoyo
- 1 cup cereal/ pasta/green salad = a baseball
- 1 serving of fruit/ vegetable= a light bulb
- 1 ounce cheese/ 2 tablespoons peanut butter= ping pong ball
- 2 tablespoons salad dressing= a shot glass
- 1 tablespoon margarine= Your thumb
- 1 teaspoon margarine= a scrabble tile
This is just a general list. When there is a nutrition label available, use the serving size on that label. Also, you may need more or less of these serving sizes depending on your energy needs. Listen to your body and hunger cues to make better choices.
As Always, Trust Your Gut!