Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Serving Sizes and Portion Control

Be careful and watch your labels for how much food to consume and how much of what you are really eating. As well all know, restaurant portions are often times two, three and up to seven times the actually recommended serving size. Serving sizes and plate sizes have been steadily going up over time. With bigger plates comes more calories consumed. If you don’t know the difference between serving size and portion sizes, then this post will help you understand the difference between the two. Not only are the plates bigger, but often times the fat, sodium, and calories are nearly tripled.

What is a serving? An official serving is how much of a certain food or drink that you are supposed to consume. Below are some common guidelines
Cheese- 1 ounce or the size of 2 saltine crackers
Ice Cream- ½ cup or a tennis ball
Meat, Chicken, Fish- 3 ounces or a deck of cards
Pasta or Rice­-1 cup or a cassette or standard iPhone
Fruits and Vegetables­- unlimited! Just kidding but a real serving is ½ cup or a tennis ball

Now, everyone knows that pancakes are a breakfast staple. A traditional serving should be 3 4 ounce pancakes at 240 calories; however, most restaurant serve pancakes weighing in at 10 ounces and packs 610 calories.

The official serving size of a muffin is 2oz- or 190 calories. The size of packaged muffins or restaurants are twice that size with muffins coming at 4oz- or 430 calories. Now, with sprinkles, streussles, or other toppings you can easily rack up a whole breakfasts worth of calories with one muffin.

Various popcorn styles available at movie theaters
At the movies, watch out for the size of your snacks. A small 7 cup movie theater popcorn racks up 400 calories without butter and 420-430 calories with butter. For a large popcorn bucket, you are racking up 1,160 calories- more than half a days worth of your total caloric intake. The official serving size for unbuttered popcorn sums up 160 calorie s in 3 cups.

With beverages, the official serving size as issued by the FDA is an eight-ounce or one cup, 100 calorie serving. Watch out since many juice and soda manufactures sell their drinks in containers that are larger than the recommended 8oz serving.

French Fries- Official Serving= 3 ounces- 220 calories
                     Fast Food Large Serving= 6 ounces- 540 calories

Spaghetti and Sauce- Restaurant serving sizes for spaghetti and sauce can be up to 3.5 times higher than a recommend serving size. When ordering this meal at a restaurant, try to put half the plate in a to-go box or split with a friend/date.
Did you know that an average package of pasta (spaghetti, rotini, penne) serves approximately 7 people? One box of pasta is enough to feed you for a week or enough to feed a family for two nights! Don't prepare the whole package. While grains are good for, moderation is awlays key and you are consuming an excessive amount of calories at one meal!
  • Official Serving = 1 cup ~ 250 calories
  • Restaurant Serving = 3 ½ cups ~ 850 calories

Steak- Did you know that the average steak house portions are often times enough meat to feed a family for one night! The listings below are for the steak alone-without any salads or potatoes.  
  • Official Serving= 3 cooked ounces ~ 170 calories
  • Dinner House Serving= 7 ounces ~ 410 calories
  • Steak House Serving=17 ounces ~ 1,150
 -Eating Clean in College

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