Downsize to healthy portions and your waistline will too

Learning to properly portion out your foods can help you lose weight and keep it off.

It’s no surprise portion sizes have increased over the years. Larger meal options at fast food chains are now available, and some meals at restaurants are enough to feed two. Most people tend to eat more when served larger portions without even realizing it. The saying “your eyes are bigger than your stomach” rings true. Choose smaller, healthy portions to help you lose weight and keep it off.

Start by eating only until you are satisfied, not full. When at restaurants, split a meal with a friend or box up half before you start eating. Avoid being in the “clean plate” club. If you are eating everything that’s on your plate, you are probably eating too much. Use smaller dishes or salad plates for meals at home. Portions can look bigger and more satisfying on smaller plates.

Lastly, get comfortable with correct portion sizes. Start off by measuring the amount of food your dishes can hold. It will be easier to estimate portion sizes when you become more familiar with them. That way you won’t have to measure every meal or snack.

Michigan State University Extension provides an easy way to identify what one serving looks like:

  • 3 ounces of meat/fish = Deck of cards
  • 1 cup of fruit/vegetables = A baseball or your fist
  • 1/2 cup of pasta = Half a baseball
  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese = Four dice
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter = A ping-pong ball
  • 6 large tortilla chips or 20 potato chips = A handful
  • 1/2 cup of ice cream = Half of a baseball

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