Portion Size


Incorrect portion size plays a large role in the problem of being overweight. In this country, where “Bigger is Better”, a boneless, skinless chicken breast frequently weighs 8 ounces, a pork chop 12 ounces, and a muffin 3 ounces. When the average American goes to a restaurant, he/she may easily consume his/her total caloric allotment for the day in just one meal.

Your doctor must determine your personal diet, but if you have an image of the recommended size of a serving, it is easier to control your caloric intake. The following definitions of a serving come from the Food Guide Pyramid:

*In the category of Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta, a serving is
1 slice of bread
1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal (size varies with cereals)
1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta – about the size of a tennis ball

*In the category of Vegetables, a serving is
1 cup of raw leafy vegetables – about the size of a baseball
1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or raw

*In the category of Fruits, a serving is
1 medium apple or orange – about the size of a baseball
1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit – about the size of a golf ball

*In the category of Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, and Eggs, a serving is
2-3 oz of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish – about the size of a deck of
1/2 cup of cooked dry beans = 1 oz of lean meat
1 egg or 2 egg whites = 1 oz of lean meat

2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/3 cup of nuts also equals 1 oz of lean meat, but the fat calorie count in nuts makes them appropriate only for small snack portions.


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