Use your measuring cups!

Portion control is incredibly annoying. I hear something different from various sources about what a “proper” portion is. Obviously, the portions you get at most restaurants are way too much for anyone, but how do you know when you’re eating too much of something? Portion control depends on many factors: your height and weight, how much you exercise, your gender, and probably a few others, which is why it can be so confusing.

About a month ago I attended a cancer survivor’s conference and decided on the nutrition lecture as one of my workshops.  I’m so glad I did, because I learned one of the most important lessons about nutrition and portion control that I think about now every time I assemble my meals on my plate: you were made with your very own measuring cups—your hands. Each meal you have should be no larger than the size of your two hands together (just like the picture). The next question you should be asking is, “How high can I pile my food onto my hand?” The answer is, no higher than a deck of cards. One of your cupped hands is a snack-sized portion. This is how big your snacks should be. You don’t actually have to put your food in your hands to measure though, just hover them over and beside your plate to see if you’ve got it.

Try this a few times and see if you can start getting an idea of how big your meals and snacks should be. One final rule though—please refrain from borrowing someone else’s larger measuring cups– that’s just cheating!


4 responses

  1. I gotta little plate at public health conference a few years ago that shows portion sizes by vegetable, starch, and protein. I think its really cute, but aaron wont let me hang it on our kitchen wall 😉

    also – I hear that this doesn’t apply when it comes to raw veggies. ie – you can literally eat as many as you want for dinner, snack or otherwise. carrots are one of my favorite go-to snacks, and I am certain I eat more than a handful every time.

  2. Haha that’s a cute plate! I would let you hang it on my wall!

    You are correct about veggies though– they don’t count! That’s why I always like to make extra veggies so if I’m still hungry after my meal, I can just have more veggies. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Nutrition First. Fitness Second. | Eat. Learn. Thrive.

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