Portion Control Is Relatively Simple

King Size Portions of Food

For most of us, it just doesn't occur to us that that huge slice of meat might be meant for more than one person.  Changing that awareness is a big part of improving how someone eats. 

The straightforward method of portion control in general is relatively simple.  Most portions are about the size of a fist.  Rice, pasta, and oatmeal are just about palm-sized portions, or ½ cup.  A portion of meat is about 3 ounces, which is about palm sized, as well. 

Second bit of information needed here is how many servings of each type of food should one have each day?  For adults, fruit is roughly 2 servings, vegetables should make up 3 servings a day, whole grains are 1 to 2 servings per day, 6 ounces of meat or vegetable protein, and either 3 cups of milk or 4 ½ oz of natural cheese are the USDA recommendations for a healthy diet.  This should be altered for individuals who are doing rigorous exercise. 

All in all, stretched between 3 meals and snacks, these recommendations are not difficult to follow, particularly when one is careful about seeing to the whole grains and vegetables.  This is not how the average American eats, however, and is one of the more challenging aspects of portion control. 

Cooking at home is the easiest way to control portions and obviously puts one in full control of what is for dinner.  Shopping the periphery of the grocery store for fresh foods only, staying out of the processed food aisles altogether, and portioning supersized or bulk purchases are all strategies that help at-home portioning.  Eating off of smaller plates, such as salad plates, can also help curb overindulgence, as it fools the eye, and makes the diners aware when they go for seconds.  

Portion control isn't easy, but it is worth making it a habit.


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