Portion It Out

By Whitney Hackman, Ball State University Intern

Portion sizes have been growing in this country right along with obesity rates and heart disease.  Restaurants are now serving meals twice the size they were in the 1960’s and it’s showing up in our waist lines.  Research shows that portion control is an important component in healthy weight maintenance, but it can be frustrating if you plan on stepping outside of your house without your measuring cups and a scale at any point in your life.   Here are some quick visual aids to help keep your portion sizes in line.

  • 1 ounce of cheese (1 serving) is the same size as four dice or a 9-volt battery.
  • 1 serving of milk is 8 ounces.
  • 1 meat serving (about 3 ounces) is similar to a standard deck of cards (NOT the jumbo ones!).
  • 3 ounces or 1 serving of fish will look similar to a check book.
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or mayonnaise is equal to a ping pong ball.
  • A serving of ice cream or mashed potatoes is ½ cup which will look about the same size as a tennis ball.
  • Apples and oranges seem like they are growing bigger and bigger but one serving of fruit should look like a woman’s fist.
  • A baked potato should look comparable to a computer mouse.
  • A serving of nuts is comparable to a medium-sized egg.
  • The diameter of a pancake should be the same as a CD.
  • 1 teaspoon of butter is as small as a thumb nail.
  • 1 ounce of chocolate looks like a standard packet of dental floss.
  • ½ cup of cooked pasta, cereal or rice is the same size as a standard light bulb.

We are faced with oversized portions everyday and it’s a tough battle but we hope these visuals give you a good idea of what you should be aiming for if you want to eat healthier!

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