Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Portion Distortion Guide

Happy Weight Loss Wednesday everyone! Have you heard of Spark People? If not, go check it out. Sparkpeople.com is a great health and fitness resource. Below is an example of just one of their helpful articles. Funny that I was beginning to write something similar just yesterday, but I thought this was so well done, that I decided to share it here. Happy reading:

Selecting the right foods also means choosing portions that are proper serving sizes. The terms "portion" and "serving" are often used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing. A "portion" is the amount of food you choose to eat for meals or snacks (like a plateful of pasta or a handful of raisins). In comparison a "serving" is the amount of food that experts recommend you eat (like 1 cup of milk or 1 ounce of bread). Servings are listed on a food's nutrition facts label too. When choosing your portion, try to make it as close as possible to these recommended serving sizes.

Grains: Aim for 6-11 servings each day. Choose whole grains whenever possible.
ExamplesOne serving equalsThat's about the size of
Bread1 ounce (1 small slice, 1/2 bagel, 1/2 bun)Index card
Cooked Grains1/2 cup cooked oats, rice, pastaBilliard ball
Dry cereal1/2 cup flakes, puffed rice, shredded wheatBilliard ball

Fruits and Vegetables:
Aim 5-9 total servings each day. Choose fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible.
ExamplesOne serving equalsThat's about the size of
Raw fruit1/2 cup raw, canned, frozen fruitBilliard ball
Dried fruit1/4 cup raisins, prunes, apricotsAn egg
Juice6 oz 100% fruit or vegetable juiceHockey puck
Raw vegetables1 cup leafy greens, baby carrots Baseball
Cooked vegetables1/2 cup cooked broccoli, potatoesBilliard ball

Meat and Beans:
Aim for 2-3 servings each day. Choose lean meats and plant proteins whenever possible.
ExamplesOne serving equalsThat's about the size of
Meat & Tofu2-3 oz cooked beef, poultry, fish, tofuDeck of cards
Beans1/2 cup cooked beans, split peas, legumesBilliard ball
Nuts & Seeds2 Tbsp nuts, seeds, or nut buttersPing pong ball
Dairy: Aim for 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Choose low- or non-fat products whenever possible.
ExamplesOne serving equalsThat's about the size of
Cheese1 ounce or 1 thin slice of cheeseA pair of dice
Milk1 cup milk, yogurt, soy milkBaseball

Fats & Oils:
Eat fats and oils sparingly and in small portions. Choose heart-healthy fats whenever possible.
ExamplesOne serving equalsThat's about the size of
Fat & Oil1 tsp butter, margarine, oilOne die
I hope this served as a good reminder about portion sizes.
Until next time, have a safe, happy and healthy week ahead.

- Coach Jenn of PersonalFitCoach.com



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