Did you know that there is a difference between serving size and portion size? We often confuse the two which can be a problem. Losing weight and staying healthy is about what and how much we are eating. Let’s dive a little into the difference and discuss how you can make healthy portion size choices.
What is a serving size? A serving size is a standardized amount of food or drink. It represents quantities that people typically consume on a Nutrition Facts label.
What is a portion size? A portion size is the amount of food that you choose to eat, it can sometimes be more or less than a serving size.
We often consume multi-serving food or drinks as a single portion, which over time can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
Look at the label of a 20-ounce soda, which is sometimes being consumed as one portion. The label suggest serving size 2.5 – did you notice that the nutritional information listed is based on “serving size” so if you consumed (portion) the entire 20 ounce soda, you need to multiply the nutrition facts by 2.5 That’s a lot of calories and sugar for just one drink.
Here are some helpful tips:
Using your hand for measuring: although measuring cups and spoons are helpful tools, they are not always available to us. So below is a simple way to make sure you are staying on track by using hand measurements:
Palm – 1 serving of protein
Fist – 1 serving of vegetables
Cupped hand – 1 serving of carbs
Thumb – 1 serving of fats
Read Labels: Get use to reading the label on foods, this will help you identify the serving size.
Eat from the plate: avoid eating straight out of the bag, get use to measuring the portion and eating from a bowl or plate.
Tools: get use to using measuring cups/spoons so that you can see what the serving size actual is. Small plates and bowls can help to make you feel more satisfied as well.
Skip the “super-size”: it might sound like a good deal to “super-size” or upgrade a meal while dining out, but in the long wrong it will have a negative effect.
If you would like to learn more about Understanding Nutrition Labels, visit https://www.fda.gov/media/99331/download
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