National Nutrition Month: A Guide to Portion Control

Mar 10, 2015

March is National Nutrition Month! One essential aspect of nutrition is portion control, which aids in weight loss and maintaining a healthy diet. Unfortunately, correct portion sizes are becoming harder to find and identify, and research indicates people eat more when presented with larger portions of food—no matter their level of hunger. Restaurant portions are usually large enough for two or even three people, and even single serving items such as bagels have been found to be almost twice the standard size set by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

So how do you get portion sizes under control? There are many simple ways, such as splitting an entrée with a friend when dining out or taking half home. Regulate snack sizes by divvying out food that comes in bulk into single servings. Measure out the correct portions at meals and put away leftovers immediately so you’re not tempted to return for seconds. Here are some standard portion sizes:

  • 3 ounces of meat or fish
  • ½ cup of pasta or dry cereal
  • ½ cup of fresh fruit
  • 1 teaspoon of butter

Unfortunately, taking the time to measure out correct portions isn’t always realistic when you’re always on the go. Thankfully, you can easily judge if your portions are reasonable by simply looking at your hand! This visual from Guard My Health shows how to use your hand to determine correct portions sizes.