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  » Men's health  »  Portion Control

Portion Control

Sizes for everything from bananas to soft drinks have gotten larger in the past 20 years. It's not enough to eat the right kinds of food to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight. Eating the right amount of food at each meal is just as important. If you are a healthy eater, it is possible to sabotage your efforts by eating more than the recommended amount of food. A serving is a specific amount of food, and it might be smaller than you realize. Here are some examples:

  • A serving of meat (boneless, cooked weight) is two to three ounces, or roughly the size of the palm of your hand, a deck of cards, or an audiocassette tape.
  • A serving of chopped vegetables or fruit is 1/2 cup, or approximately half a baseball or a rounded handful.
  • A serving of fresh fruit is one medium piece, or the size of a baseball.
  • A serving of cooked pasta, rice, or cereal is 1/2 cup, or half a baseball or a rounded handful.
  • A serving of cooked beans is 1/2 cup, or half a baseball or a rounded handful.
  • A serving of nuts is 1/3 cup, or a level handful for an average adult.
  • A serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons, about the size of a golf ball.

No matter which diet you choose, be sure to talk with your health care provider first, before starting any type of eating plan. You might want to ask your provider for a referral to a registered dietician (RD) who can help you. You might also want to enlist the help of a family member or friend to give you support and help you stay on track. Try to have some fun learning new recipes and different ways to cook!