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Sizing Up Your Servings

Beauty isn't the only thing that is measured by the eye of the beholder, so are serving sizes. A serving of fine chocolate candy may be just one piece for one person. But for some, a serving is an entire candy bar.

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture first issued its food pyramid, one of the biggest problems for people was determining what the various serving sizes really meant. 
Here are some tips to keep in mind when establishing portion sizes and a dietary plan.

Order once, enjoy twice. 
Eat half your steak (or whatever) at a restaurant. Take the rest home to savor tomorrow. Or split the entrée with a friend and order salad and/or vegetable side dishes.

Snack from a plate, not from the bag. 
It is easy to lose track of how much you've consumed when you can't see it.  Pour portions from a bag onto a plate will help you stay aware of how much you are eating.

Savor foods slowly. 
It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the signal that your stomach’s had enough.

Skip the toppings. 
Instead of adding bacon, butter or sour cream to a baked potato, for instance, try dashing a bit of vegetable based seasoning salt or skip the topping all toghether.

Visualize portions.
Learn to recognize what a serving size looks like on a plate, in your hand and in a bowl. To help visualize a tablespoon or other common portion size, measure it out and compare its size to a common item like a quarter or deck of playing cards. Soon it will become second nature. Try remembering these official serving sizes: 

½ cup fruit, vegetable, cooked cereal, pasta or rice = a small fist

3 ounces cooked meat, poultry or fish = a deck of cards

1 muffin = a large egg

1 teaspoon butter or margarine = a thumb tip

a small baked potato = a computer mouse

1 pancake or waffle = a 4-inch CD

4 small cookies (like vanilla wafers) = 4 casino chips

1 medium apple or orange = a baseball (not softball)

2 tablespoons peanut butter = a golf ball

If you calculate calories daily, be honest about what portion you actually ate and multiply by the correct number of servings it contained.

When you overdo it, balance out by eating less at your next meal and increasing your physical activity. It’s OK to eat larger or smaller portions of foods. It’s the total diet balanced over several days that counts.

More tips.

Add Fitness to your 
Daily Routine.

If you find you can't devote enough time to getting in shape as you would like, there are still plenty of ways you can keep your body active while going about your normal routine. More tips.


Building Endurance #170

If you want to walk or jog for longer periods of time without getting fatigued, continue with a weight-lifting routine.

Lifting weights not only builds strong muscles, but also can improve your aerobic capacity. Improving your aerobic endurance level will enable you to walk, bike, swim, or jog for longer periods of time before exhausting yourself.

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