If you’re anything like me you’re constantly struggling to find balance in your life. Balance as it applies to work, home, and self-care. Living life on the run can be detrimental in more ways than one, but one of the most noticeable is the way we control the portions of food we eat; or, more accurately, our lack of control.
People who are constantly on the go tend to eat in restaurants or grab fast food much more often than the average doctor or nutritionist would agree is healthy. One of the biggest problems we have, however, is with portion control. We like to eat the food we are served instead of looking at our plates, deciding what amount is normal, and taking the rest home.
The real problem, though, is that most of us don’t really know what the correct portion size should be for any given food. We stare at our plates and dig in without a second thought.
The best way to understand proper portion size is to compare your foods with common objects – things you recognize easily in size and shape.
Take, for example, a baked potato. A properly portioned baked potato should actually be no larger than the size of your computer mouse. The average baked potato is usually 2-3 times that size, meaning if you eat the entire thing you’re definitely overeating.
A cup of cooked vegetables, on the other hand, is equivalent to the size of a standard baseball. A single-serving bagel should not be any larger than the diameter of a 6 oz. can of tuna fish. Pasta, rice, and popcorn should all be eaten in 1 cup servings – also the size of a baseball.
The average serving size for cooked chicken should be around 3 ounces, or approximately the size of a deck of cards. A 3 ounce portion of fish should not be any larger than your standard bank-issued checkbook. A serving of walnuts or pistachios should be no more than ¼ cup – or the size of a golf ball!
Oils, while they are essential to our diets, are often over eaten as well. The average serving of butter, salad dressing, or olives should be no more than one tablespoon – or the size of a poker chip. (That’s about 5 olives, max).
Starting to get the picture?