Portion Strategies for New Eating Habits
While measuring everything one eats is hardly a practical or convenient method to control portion sizes, it pays to start out the process by doing just that. Instead of measuring the food itself, however, it is easier to know how common objects and serving containers measure up, which can give a fairly accurate estimate of the final portioning of the foods. Many dietary experts use the human hand as a guide for food estimation.
The serving sizes of many foods are about the size of a human fist. A cup of rice, for instance, is about that size...fist sized. Three ounces of meat is about the size of the open palm. A shot glass is a great way to estimate salad dressing, since that is often a tripping-up point A shot glass holds 2 tablespoons of salad dressing. Another salad dressing tip is to get the dressing served on the side, and to dip the fork into the dressing before stabbing the lettuce with the fork, insuring dressing with every bite, but not overdoing it.
Other simple strategies can make these thought processes easier. Going to a restaurant starving is tantamount to going to the grocery store starving. It is rough on the budget and the waistline. Sharing meals at restaurants is a great way to dilute those giant portion sizes, and if dining alone, portioning half into a takeout container right away can keep a savvy diner from overindulging.
When dining at home, there are some tools that can easily help with portion control. Measuring salad and soup bowls so that is part of meal planning is a great start. Snack sized baggies hold about 1 cup if they are packed full. This can help portion snacks and cereal effectively. Foil cupcake liners hold 1/3 cup. This is great for baked goods and snacks, too. Mini foil pie pans are side dish and entree sized. Large muffin cups hold about ¾ cup which is a perfect portion for quiche, casseroles, and shepherd's pie. Finally, ladles can vary, but most household ladles hold ½ cup. Measure the one at home to be sure.
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