Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Your Portion Control Guide to Weight Loss
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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A baseball portion of rice or pasta = 1 cup

A baseball portion
Rice or Pasta = 1 cup

You have heard it before…the key to weight loss is through portion control. This is true. I have seen it over the last 17 years with my own clients. But what is a proper portion size? As consumers, you must be well informed and take responsibility for the portions you eat.

Portioning out servings to the appropriate sizes allows you to better manage your weight by limiting your calorie intake of certain foods and boosting your intake of nutrient rich, low calorie foods.

Fortunately, many food companies and restaurants are now offering more portion-controlled options to help  you achieve your portion control goals such as Skinny Cow Mini Fudge Pops or my client, Grimmway Farms, Carrot Dippers. Another good way to control your portions is to eyeball your food in terms of sizes you know.

Planning meals in advance helps you control portions by choosing the amount you prepare. If eating at a restaurant, check the menu online beforehand to identify the smart choices. Make it a habit to eat sitting down, from one plate, while chewing slowly, to savor your food and make the most of the portions you have given yourself.

Some good ways to “eyeball” your food portions…

•Baseball= 1 cup of pasta or rice

•Deck of cards/ palm of your hand= 3 oz meat, poultry, or fish

•Golf ball= 2 tablespoons peanut butter

•4 dice= 1 oz of cheese

•Small postage stamp= 1 teaspoon butter

•Computer mouse= ½ cup cooked beans or frozen yogurt

In my work as a registered dietitian, I have seen that many people overindulge in the rice and pasta department. I often aim to get my clients to limit their portion to a baseball-sized portion at mealtime. This works especially well for my work with the Kansas City Royals baseball players since they know the size of a baseball very well! Check out my previous articles on 5 Ways to Curb Overindulging, 100 Calories In/100 Calories Out, and Do You Know Your Calorie Budget?

Other easy ways to reduce portions: share an appetizer and entree, buy smaller plates at home, and ALWAYS stop eating when you are satisfied. Remember the key to a balanced and satisfying diet is portion control.

Don’t forget that you also want to make sure you are burning calories with exercise. This will help you to achieve and maintain your body weight goals and offers many additional health benefits such as boosting lean muscle mass and improving bone health.


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