Portions Versus Servings

If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight and if you’ve ever considered your portions and servings, you know how discombobulating it can seem when you’re trying to keep track of the foods you eat and your weight. A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat for a meal or snack—you know, like a double-double burger and large cheese fries. A serving is a measured amount of food or drink, and serving sizes can be found on the Nutrition Facts label on almost all packaged foods. Serving sizes are based on the United States Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid (MyPyramid.gov). If you’re curious about how many servings of grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein foods you should be eating, you should definitely visit the website; it’s full of helpful information.

And here are some tips for helping to keep food portions down:

  • Instead of eating until you’re stuffed, start small and see how your stomach feels. If you find you’re no longer hungry after eating some food, stop.
  • Consider size versus saving money. Do you buy a larger bag of chips because you can save a few cents but end up eating them all in one or two sittings? If you can’t control your portions, it’s going to be harder to control your weight.
  • When eating out, ask for a to-go container as soon as your food arrives at the table. Many restaurants serve super-size portions that will take you over your daily caloric intake. Put half of your meal into the to-go container before you begin eating.
  • Eat your meals on smaller plates.