People trying to lose weight may try a variety of different diets and exercise regimes. Whilst the types of different foods people include in their diet may have been changed, the portion size may not. Whilst a person may be eating lots of healthy foods they may not see any results as they are unwittingly just eating too much of them. So, what is the correct portion size of food and how much should we be actually eating?
Portion size will all depend on which particular food is being eaten and how it is presented. For example, a food which is fresh may have a different portion size allowance to it if it has been dried.
Green leafy vegetables if fresh have an unlimited portion size. But if this changes to being cooked then you are allowed half a cup full.
With fruit a portion will be classed as one small piece on the proviso it is fresh. But if the fruit has been dried then you will be allowed one and a half table spoons such as sultanas etc.
You will be able to judge a portion size with some foods by looking at them. With regards to meat one portion size is 3 – 4 ounces. This will be the size of the palm of your hand roughly.
One portion of cheese is the size of two dominoes. This only seems like a small amount so it is good to know as you can easily it two or three portion sizes without realising you are going over your limit.
A portion of rice is approximately half a cup full or a handful. This can be easily measured out at home if cooking in the kitchen.
If you are cooking for more than one person then you just double up the portion sizes are times them by how many people you are cooking for.
If you have been off the mark with your portion sizes and want to get them under control in order to lose weight then it is a good idea to invest in a good set of kitchen scales so you can accurately measure / weigh out your portion sizes. After a while you will develop a gradual concept of what each portion size of each food should be.
If you decide to eat out in a restaurant then it may be a lot harder for you to control the portion size you receive. What you must take into account is that most restaurants will serve you more than the portion size you need. This can sometimes be two or three times more. If this happens simply divide your meal into three and just eat a third of it.
Another handy tip to keep your portion size small is by using a smaller plate. This way it will feel like you have more on your plate and you will think there is more on it than if it was served on a bigger plate and you will psychology feel more filled. When using a large plate you are often tempted to fill it up so by using a smaller plate this problem will be solved.
If you stick to these correct portion sizes then you can make sure that you are not over eating and hindering your attempt at trying to lose weight. To help you further here is a list of portion sizes you should have for most daily foods. This will give you a basic guide of the amount of foods you should have.
|Fruit (two serves)||Serving size|
|Fresh||1 medium or 2 small pieces|
|Dried||1½ tablespoons sultanas, 4-5 apricots/prunes/figs|
|Bread||2 small slices|
|Muesli or wholegrain cereal||½ cup|
|Rice, bulgar, freekeh, quinoa||½ cup|
|Sweet Potato||100 grams (½ cup cooked)|
|Healthy Fats||Serving size|
|Oil vinaigrette||1 tablespoon|
|Tahini and natural peanut butter||3 teaspoons|
|Raw nuts and seeds||30g (a small handful)|
|Cheese||30g (size of a small matchbox)|
|Protein||Weight/measure serving size|
|Lean meat, poultry, oily fish||150g (equivalent to the size of the palm of your hand)|
|White fish||180g (size of your whole hand)|
|Tinned fish||80g (small can)|
|Skim milk||250ml (1 cup)|
|Yoghurt (low-fat, plain)||125g (½ cup)|
|Tofu||120g (palm of your hand)|
|Eggs||100g (2 medium whole eggs)|