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Serving Sizes and Weight Loss

One of the challenges to losing weight is choosing the correct portion size and not overeating. This is true for both packaged products and homemade food. Even if all you eat is high grade foods, you can still go over your daily calorie budget and gain weight.

Many people don’t realize that a serving of beef or chicken is 3 ounces, let alone know how much meat is in that 3 ounce serving. For beef or chicken, 3 ounces is about the size of a deck of cards. Pretty small, right?

Usually people stray to the larger size. This is evident with packed foods as well. Here are some examples:

  1. A serving of potato chips is just 11 chips. Who stops at just 11 chips?
  2. A serving of Oreos is just 3 cookies.
  3. A serving of juice or soft drinks is 8 ounces or 1 cup. Not any cup, 1 cup. Most people fill up cups that are much bigger than 1 cup.

How can you avoid these mistakes?

  1. Be aware that even a 10 percent overage in serving sizes can add up to an extra 150 calories or more per day.
  2. Make sure you know the serving size of everything that you consume during the day. This is easy for packaged foods. An easy hack is to try to compare what you are eating to a similar packaged food and looking up the information for the packaged food.
  3. Measuring your food. Although this can be time-consuming at first, people eat mostly the same foods over and over. Within a few weeks you won’t need the use a scale anymore, your eyes will help you gauge the serving size fairly accurately.

How well do you know your serving size?

  • Cooked meat= a deck of cards
  • Oil, butter, or margarine= 1 die
  • Cereal or rice= closed fist
  • Peanut Butter= golf ball
  • Cooked Pasta= baseball
  • Dried Fruit & Nuts= egg
  • Cheese= 4 dice
  • Fruit= tennis ball
  • Vegetables= baseball


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