Serving Sizes Matter and Yours are Probably Too Big
Most people think they eat a lot less than they actually do. When you eat too much and don’t exercise enough to match how much you’re eating, you’ll gain weight. There is no way around that. However, you can make small changes every day to ensure you’re not overeating. One of the most important changes is understanding and monitoring serving sizes.
What is a Serving?
First, you need to identify the appropriate serving size for the various foods you eat. Of course, you should make sure the servings you’re eating include the nutrients you need each day. Eating an appropriate serving of chocolate chip cookies isn’t the same as eating a serving of peas.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the common serving sizes you should know:
Serving Size = 1 oz.
- 1 cup of dry cereal
- 1 slice of bread
- 1/2 of an English muffin
- 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, pasta, or rice
Serving Size = 1 cup
- 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
- 2 cups of raw, leafy vegetables
- 1 medium baked potato
Serving Size = 1 cup
- 1 large banana, orange, or peach
- 1 cup berries
- 1 small or 1/2 of a large apple
- 1 cup of 100% fruit juice
- 1/2 cup of dried fruit
>>More Helpful Tips: 10 Tips to Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Milk and Dairy
Serving Size = varies
- 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk
- 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat yogurt
- 1 1/2 oz. of hard cheese
- 2 oz. of processed cheese
Meats and Beans
Serving Size = 1 oz.
- 1 cup of lean meats or poultry
- 1 egg
- 1/2 oz. of nuts
- 1/2 oz. of seeds
- 2 tablespoons of hummus
- 1/4 cup of chickpeas, lentils, or tofu
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
Serving Size – varies
- 1 teaspoon of oil or trans fat-free margarine
- 1 tablespoon of salad dressing
>>More Helpful Tips: Learn about Saturated Fats and Trans Fats
How to Monitor Your Servings and Estimate Serving Sizes
Next, you need to monitor your servings. The most accurate way to determine if you’re eating too much is to use measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a food scale to measure everything you eat and drink on a daily basis. Record your results for a week and see how you’re doing. Are you exceeding the recommended serving sizes? If so, you might start to gain weight (if you haven’t already).
If measuring and weighing your food isn’t for you, then you can estimate serving sizes using common objects. Here are some tricks to start estimating accurately:
- 1 cup = a clenched fist or 2 hands cupped
- 1/2 cup = a computer mouse
- 1 oz. = a domino
- 3 oz. = a deck of cards
- 1 tablespoon = one die
- 2 tablespoons = 1 ping pong ball
Your Next Steps
Your goal should be to eat meals that are not only reasonably sized but also nutritious and diverse so you get all of the nutrients you need on a daily basis without overdoing it.
It can get confusing and difficult to keep up on a daily basis, but you don’t have to change your eating habits, weight, nutrition and life alone. The coaches at Wellbeing Coaches are certified and highly experienced at helping people just like you achieve their health, weight, and life goals, and they can help you, too.
Click the link to Talk to a Coach to get started. You can choose your coach and schedule a free 15-minute call to learn more about how coaching works and how a coach can help you improve your serving sizes and be healthier and happier.
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All information contained on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as medical or other health advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical professional. IN THE CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, IMMEDIATELY CALL 911.
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