About six weeks ago it occurred to me that my daughter was getting married in……SIX WEEKS! I started to panic a little (OK…a LOT!) Not because I had so much to do, or because my only daughter was “leaving the nest”, but because there would be a photographer at the wedding TAKING PICTURES! :-) So 6 weeks ago I embarked on a weight loss program and I’ve actually lost almost 20 pounds! woo hoo for me! Just two more weeks to go til the wedding….so I’m giving it my all! I’m drinking so much water I might just float away!
One of the things that I’ve really been trying to focus on is portion control! I was watching a doctor talk about how important it is on the Rachael Ray show recently so I decided to do a little research and found this super simple way to judge whether the serving size of what you are eating is in line with your diet.
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Of course a food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons are the most accurate way to measure portions, but they’re not always practical. This method gives you an easy way to judge a reasonable serving right in the palm of your hand!
The other benefit of the hand method is that it ensures you are eating portions relative to your body size. Since you base your meal size comparatively to the size of your hand, men will more likely be eating a larger portion than that of women (don’t get me started!)
Here’s how it works:
FIST = 1 Cup
Best for: • Beverages • Cereal • Casseroles • Soups • Fresh fruit • Raw vegetables • Salads
CUPPED HAND = ½ Cup
Best for: • Pasta • Rice • Beans • Potatoes • Cooked vegetables • Pudding • Ice Cream
2 CUPPED HANDS = 1 ounce
Best for: • Chips • Crackers • Pretzels
PALM = 3 – 4 ounces
Best for: • Beef • Pork • Poultry • Fish
THUMB = 1-2 Tablespoons
Best for: • Salad dressing • Sour cream • Cream cheese • Peanut butter • Hard Cheeses
THUMB TIP = 1 Teaspoon
Best for: • Butter • Margarine • Mayonnaise • Oil
I love this idea so much, I decided to make myself a “cheat sheet” for it (in the form of a printable) and decided to share it!
>>>CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD<<<
Now that you know what portions are supposed to look like…here are a few more portion control tips to keep you on the right track.
PORTION CONTROL TIPS
- When dining at restaurants known for their jumbo portions, split an entree or take half home for later.
- Be mindful. Pay attention to how much butter you slather on bread and to the dressing you pour on your salad.
- Eat off smaller plates and bowls. A serving of pasta can look pathetic on a 10-inch dinner plate, but appears much more satisfying on an 8-inch one.
- “Cheat” with vegetables. If you must super-size, do so with salad, broccoli and other low-calorie, nutritious produce.
- Eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that your stomach has had enough.
- Practice makes perfect. Measure out a cup of cereal and half cup of milk for a few weeks. Eventually, you will be able to eyeball the correct amount.
Source: Arizona State University
It’s really all about having a visual in your head of everyday portion sizes so that it becomes second nature. Now you have all the ‘tools on hand’ whenever and wherever you eat.
What’s your worst portion control buster? Mine is potato chips! :-(