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Portion size

Obesity - portion size; Overweight - portion size; Weight-loss - portion size; Healthy diet - portion size

Description

It can be hard to measure out every portion of food you eat. Yet there are some simple ways to know that you are eating the right serving sizes. Following these tips can help you control portion sizes for healthy weight loss.

A recommended serving size is the amount of each food that you are supposed to eat during a meal or snack. A portion is the amount of food that you actually eat. If you eat more or less than the recommended serving size, you may get either too much or too little of the nutrients you need.

People with diabetes who use the exchange list for carb counting should keep in mind that a "serving" on the exchange list will not always be the same as the recommended serving size.

For foods like cereal and pasta, it may be helpful to use measuring cups to measure out an exact serving for a couple of days until you get more practiced at eyeballing the appropriate portion.

Use your hand and other everyday objects to measure portion sizes:

You should eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day to help reduce your risk of cancer and other diseases. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and high in fiber. They will also help fill you up so that you are satisfied at the end of your meals. They do contain calories, so you should not eat an unlimited amount, especially when it comes to fruits.

How to measure out the correct serving sizes of fruits and vegetables:

To control your portion sizes when you are eating at home, try the following tips:

To control your portion sizes when eating out, try these tips:

References

Mozaffarian D. Nutrition and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann, DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 49.

Parks EP, Shaikkhalil A, Sainath NN, Mitchell JA, Brownell JN, Stallings VA. Feeding healthy infants, children, and adolescents. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 56.

U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition. www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf. Updated December 2020. Accessed December 30, 2020.

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Review Date: 8/20/2020  

Reviewed By: Meagan Bridges, RD, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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