Learning Portion Control: 5 items you can use to ensure proper food portions

by on July 30th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Portion control can be very hard, especially when the restaurants we frequent expect that we will clean our plates, even when they serve a plateful of food too big for even Paul Bunyan to finish! Food portion is one of the biggest factors in keeping weight under control.

While we know that we really aren’t supposed to be eating all the food on our plates that restaurants dish out, it would help to know how much we should eat. However, in a restaurant, it’s hard to tell how much you should shove off the plate to make your 8 oz steak proportionally accurate. The next time you are out at a restaurant, you can envision the below references and save the rest for later!

Tips for Dining Out

Steak is a big one; some people would rather have a steak cooked for them, however, the problem at a restaurant is that you usually aren’t served a healthy-sized portion — you may have been served 8 ounces, when you should only eat 3 ounces. Your visual guide for a 3 oz piece of steak is a deck of cards.

3 oz steak nutritional info: 219 cal, 13 g fat

I love Italian food, especially lasagna, but these days in the little bistros, it’s difficult to know how much they are serving you. Judge your portion of lasagna by envisioning 2 hockey pucks stacked up. This is equivalent to an 8 oz piece of lasagna.

8 oz lasagna nutritional info: 270 cal, 8 g fat

Spending time out with friends at a local sports pub can be a great, relaxing way to spend an afternoon or early evening, and what night wouldn’t be complete without wings? But all that blue-cheese dressing is what climaxes this spicy treat to an over-the-top weight trap! Though it may be hard to do, 2 tbsp is the amount you should allot yourself; your visual guide for this one is a golf ball.

2 tbsp blue cheese dressing nutritional info: 154 cal, 16 g fat

There is nothing better than going out for some ice cream on a hot summer night, but this creamy substance can be hard to say no to, especially when seconds are involved. Your visual for your portion of a ½ cup of ice cream is a tennis ball.

½ cup of ice cream nutritional info: 143 cal, 7 g fat

The correct portion for mashed potatoes is a ½ cup, so that means the side of potatoes on your plate shouldn’t be any bigger than half of an apple. Unfortunately, sometimes at a restaurant you are served more like 3 halves of an apple.

½ cup of mashed potatoes nutritional info: 112 cal, 5 g fat

Remember, when you are at a restaurant, don’t be ashamed to ask your waiter to bring a to-go box along with your meal. After you have measured your portions, put the rest in a box; what you can’t see won’t tempt you!

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