What’s The Difference Between Portion Size & Serving Size?

If you’re snacking from a family size bag of chips the serving size is 1 ounce, about 15 chips. However, your portion size may be a lot bigger, especially if you’re eating the chips while watching TV or are on the computer. Portion sizes vary. If you order food at a very expensive restaurant, often portion sizes are much smaller than in less expensive ones. If you have a person in the family who is a feeder, constantly offering more and more food, that person’s idea of a portion is often far greater than the average person’s, especially if the food is for someone else.

As competition grew, so did portion sizes.

Many mom-and-pop restaurants and even some of the bigger chains use larger portions as a draw. Unfortunately, the food that was focused on increasing was normally the least nourishing and most fattening. For instance, endless bread, tortilla chips, pasta or appetizers often precede the meal, but just fill you up, add calories and provide very little nutrition. It’s not unusual to see people, particularly seniors, share a plate because portions are larger. Sometimes, ordering from the kid’s menu is the perfect serving size. It’s no wonder the American diet has increased 300 calories per day in the last 35 years.

You decide what your portion will be.

It’s up to you to decide how much you’re going to eat, but the calories on most apps and literature are based on serving size. Your portion size may be twice that of the legitimate serving size, so it contains far more calories. Learning what the serving size looks like will help put you back in control. It may be difficult to judge, but you can make it easier by doing meal prep and packing individual servings ahead of time.

For some food, you need to make sure you get enough.

For others, make sure you aren’t eating too much. For foods like fresh vegetables, eating too much is normally not the problem, but getting enough is. That doesn’t include starchy vegetables like potatoes. For grains, one serving can be a slice of bread, a cup of cereal flakes, a half cup cooked rice or pasta or 3 cups of popcorn. An ounce of cheese or a cup of milk or yogurt is the serving size for dairy. A tablespoon of peanut butter, one egg or an ounce of cooked meat, poultry or seafood is protein serving size.

  • You can save calories and stick with serving size by skipping appetizers and starting the meal with a salad. Share your meal with a companion or carve out the serving size and take home the rest for another meal.
  • Order the small version of the meal and never supersize. For instance, ordering the smaller pizza will mean each piece is smaller, so you’ll eat less, even if you normally only eat one piece.
  • Individually pack snacks for one serving size, especially if you’re eating the snacks while watching TV, when you’re apt to be engrossed in the show and eat more than you intended.
  • Add extra vegetables to every meal, just make sure they don’t have extra sauce, like hollandaise or cheese sauce. Eating a big salad packed with fresh veggies can also fill you up and make it easier to stick with serving size for higher calorie foods, like bread or rice.

For more information, contact us today at Iron Fit San Antonio

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