Portion Control for Weight Management

According to the Center for Disease Control, obesity among Americans reached an all-time high last year. 30.9% of the U.S. population had a Body Mass Index of 30.0 or higher based on reported height and weight data. Without change, we will see this number continue to RISE. Since March is National Nutrition Month, our goal is to equip you with the right tools to make and see change, if weight loss and/or weight management is your goal. Week One– we’re covering portion control!

Contrary to what you may think, the “serving sizes” you see on nutrition labels don’t always reflect how much you should be eating. 

“For better or for worse, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 requires that serving sizes listed on Nutrition labels reflect current eating habits— how much people actually eat as opposed to how much they should eat,” writes Jane E. Brody for The New York Times. For example, the serving size reported on ice cream labels has increased to ⅔ cup compared to ½ cup, which it used to be. With untrustworthy labels and fad diets running rampant this early in the new year, how do you navigate healthy diet changes and proper portions? 

Quick Tips:

  • Restaurant portions are TOO BIG. The amount of food you are served can be eaten by 2-3 people or can make 1-2 more meals in the future. Share a dish with a friend (and save money) or take it home!
  • Buy labeled containers for packing lunch or for storing leftovers. There are so many lunch packing sets (found at places like Target) that have ¼, ½, ¾ and 1 cup markings. Then you can more easily pack and serve out healthy portions!
  • Use everyday items to gauge the size of your servings. Check out this document for not only item comparisons, but also a handy guide for comparing portions to different parts of your hand.
  • Eat slowly. When you eat too fast, your body can’t accurately decide how full it is. It takes 20 minutes or so for your food to settle. So? Give your body a chance and let it get a grip before you eat too much food!