Serving-Size Comparisons to Keep Your Portions in Check

Staff Writer
Easy tricks to remember just how much you're eating

"Thank you, sir. May I have another?" It’s the infamous quote lamented by Kevin Bacon in Animal House. It’s also a phrase healthy individuals try not to utter when it comes to food.

Try as we might to opt out of "another," when it comes to seconds (or even firsts), determining correct food portions can often elude us. With busy on-the-go lifestyles, measuring cups and food scales are not easily accessible. Not to worry. Several everyday objects can aid in proper meal measurements.

Let’s play ball! When it comes to mixed veggies, it’s best to keep serving sizes in the ballpark of around a ½ cup — comparable to the size of a baseball. When seeking a single serving of fruit, trade the baseball for a tennis ball. For example, look for an apple or orange the size of a tennis ball rather than volleyball.

Lucky hand. A single serving of chicken, beef, or pork is generally around 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards.

Chuck a puck. To keep your pasta portions in check, stick to a ½-cup single serving of cooked pasta relative to the size of a hockey puck. In addition, a puck can be a useful comparison for measuring 1/3 cup of uncooked brown rice.

Tech check. To keep harmony in your breakfast diet, make sure pancakes don’t expand beyond the size of a CD. Craving a little starch? Think about your computer mouse when picking the proper potato.

Roll the dice. Prevent yourself from overindulging on cheese by serving yourself six pieces of die-sized cubes, equal to about 1 ounce. Die are also helpful in divvying out appropriate condiment servings. For example, one fat serving of mayonnaise is equal to about two dice.

— Erin Davis, HellaWella

 

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