Portions, Servings and Golf Balls.

My job involves a lot of traveling. I attempt to cook for myself as much as possible so I have more control over the ingredients and quality of what I eat. However, I still find myself in a restaurant very often. Sometimes it is very hard to judge how much I’m consuming. I found a couple of articles that have helped.

So what’s the difference between a portion and a serving? Well, a serving is the amount of food that is measured for the USDA’s nutritional labeling. A portion is how much you put on your plate. There can be a big difference. One serving of pasta is 1/2 cup, but I don’t think anyone ever eats even one cup, especially if it is at a restaurant. If you are trying to watch your weight, it’s good to get a handle on different serving sizes. This article has some good visual queues for serving sizes.

Discovery Health :: Portion Control

I was familiar with the reference to a deck of cards for a 3 oz. serving of meat, poultry or fish, but there were some others I found very helpful.

  • golf ball = two tablespoons
  • baseball = one cup
  • three dominoes = 1.5 oz
  • cupcake wrapper = 1/2 cup

Here’s another article that has some good visual references for portion sizes:
http://www.mealsmatter.org/EatingForHealth/Topics/article.aspx?articleID=52

Often, I’ll just ask for a to go container right at the beginning of the meal & put half of the meal in the container. Then I’m not so tempted to just eat the whole thing. If I don’t have a fridge in my hotel room, I can usually find someone to give the leftovers to along the street.

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