Are You Having a Serving or a Portion?

Serving Size 1 Cookie

For as long as you can remember, you’ve been unhappy with your weight. You’re finally determined to drop the pounds and improve your health. In fact, you’ve joined a gym. You’re also excited about eating healthier foods. But, certain dieting terms confuse you. If you can relate to this common scenario, you might be puzzled about whether you’re eating a serving or a portion of roasted asparagus for dinner tonight.

A serving is the amount of food or drink outlined on a product’s Nutrition Facts label. The amount of calories, fat, and other nutrients listed on this label correspond to this exact, serving size. Unfortunately, many people only casually glance at Nutrition Facts labels. Others ignore them altogether. As a result, they end up unknowingly eating several servings of food during one meal or snack. Unlike servings, portions represent how much food or drink you decide to consume at any given time. When dining out, restaurants often serve you plates heaped with unhealthy portions of food. To prevent a night out from derailing your diet plan, request a box when ordering your food. When your plate arrives at the table, pack half of your meal in the box to enjoy later.

When cooking at home, consider serving yourself buffet style. Leave all of the food on the stove or kitchen counter. Fix your plate before sitting down at your dining room table. Because the extra food will be absent from the table, you’ll be less likely to eat a second portion. When snacking, avoid eating straight from a bag, box, can, or carton. Rather, place your healthy snack on a plate or in some other type of container. Also, strive to end mindless eating. To accomplish this difficult task, resist the urge to snack while using the computer, watching television, texting, or talking on the phone. By paying attention to Nutrition Facts labels and monitoring portion sizes, you’ll increase your odds of losing weight and keeping it off for life.


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