When you are trying to eat right, portion control can be the difference between losing a pound and gaining one, but it’s not always easy to know how much is too much. If you are counting calories, you may see that a 3oz chicken breast works perfectly into your meal allowance, but in the age of super-sized farming, how often is a chicken breast really only three ounces? The truth of the matter is even if you are staying out of fast food restaurants and cooking light at home, if you think you’re consuming 3oz when you are really consuming 8oz, your waistline is going to let you know.
So, when trying to determine proper portion size, it is helpful to tap into visual comparisons. Here are some that are easy to remember:
• One small apple is about the size of a tennis ball and is considered one serving.
• Two cups of leafy vegetables like spinach or lettuce is about the size of two baseballs.
• Half a cup of pasta is about the size of a hockey puck.
• One ounce of cheese looks like two 9-volt batteries.
• Three ounces of meat or poultry is about the size of an iPhone.
• Three ounces of fish is about the size of a checkbook.
• One tablespoon of butter looks like two thumbs.
For more information portion control, contact sports and lifestyle nutritionist Julie Fortenberry, LDN, RD, at 504.457.3100 at The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org/thefitnessprinciple.