Shawn Johnson's the Body Department - Portion Control

Portion Control

I no longer count calories, but I still measure out proper portions and serving sizes to achieve a balanced meal. After thinking about how important this little step is, I was inspired to write and define what portions I use for each food group. Measuring foods may seem time consuming, but portion size is crucial when it comes to losing and maintaining weight.

It is important to remember that even healthy foods need to be eaten in moderation. Nibbling on a healthy mix of nuts can quickly turn into a calorie bomb loaded with fat. When I first started paying attention to nutrition labels, I was surprised to see what an actual serving looked like. For example, checkout the serving size on your favorite cereal and measure it out. Shockingly different than the usual amount that you eat? You’re not alone! It is so easy to overdo it if you are unaware of what a proper serving looks like. I’m a very visual learner, so I complied a list of objects that give a visual of measurements, which is especially helpful when eating out.

1 cup= baseball
½ cup = yoyo
2/3 cup= tennis ball
¼ cup= egg
3oz= deck of cards
1 Tbs = poker chip
1 tsp = quarter

Here is an idea of what one serving from each food group equals in the Rabbit Food world:

PRODUCE:
Veggies: (lunch & dinner)
2 cups fresh
1 cup frozen
½ cup canned
¼ dried

Fruit: (breakfast and snack)
1 piece, about the size of a baseball
1 cup fresh or frozen
½ cup canned (no sugar added)
¼ cup dried (unsweetened)

WHOLE GRAINS:
1 slice of whole grain bread
½ whole grain English muffin or whole-grain pita
½ cup cooked brown or wild rice, whole-grain pasta, or quinoa
¼ cup uncooked oats
2 taco sized whole-corn tortillas

PROTEIN:
1 cup skim milk
6oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt
½ cup nonfat cottage cheese
¼ cup nonfat ricotta cheese
1 slice reduced fat cheese
¼ cup reduced fat shredded cheese
¼ cup of egg whites
3oz chicken, turkey, or fish
½ cup cooked beans or lentils
¼ package of tofu or tempeh

PLANT BASED FAT:
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp nuts
1 Tbsp nut butter
10 olives
¼ medium avocado
¼ cup 70% dark chocolate chips

Challenge: Pour a bowl of cereal as you normally would without measuring, as if you were going to eat it for breakfast. Then pour the contents of your bowl into a measuring cup and compare your bowl of cereal to the serving size on the back of the box. The first time I did this was a huge eye opener for me. My bowl consisted of 3 times the serving size listed on the nutrition label!

*This post was originally published on Catherine’s Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth. For more from Catherine, visit www.rabbitfoodformybunnyteeth.com.