Size matters. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
Portion size matters even if you are eating the right foods!
You may be eating fish or using olive oil...
...because you know they are "good for you."
But if you eat too much of the right foods, you still might never lose an ounce!
That's because all foods, even good foods, have calories
And calories matter when it comes to weight loss. Portion control is therefore a must.
Suppose you finish an entire 9 oz. portion of salmon in a restaurant. Know this: a "portion" is different than a "serving."
A portion is whatever the restaurant decides to put on your plate. In this case, it's 3 times what a standard serving size is. (See what a standard serving size is below.) And even a healthy food like salmon has ~60 calories per oz.
Your 9 oz. portion therefore has 540 calories (and that's not even taking into consideration the calories whatever it's cooked in may contain)...as many calories as a McDonald's Big Mac!
Sure the salmon is healthier than fast food, but your waistline doesn't know the difference. When you overeat calories...healthy or otherwise...they wind up getting stored as body fat.
How Much to Eat: The Right Portion Size
If you are struggling with your weight and recognize it may be due to your portions, start by simply reducing portions by as little as 25%. This slight change in portion size shouldn't feel like a big deal, yet it will significantly reduce the number of calories you eat over time.
Most people think they need to cut portions drastically, then they don't stick with it because the change is too severe. If you normally eat a 16 oz. steak, try ordering a 12 oz. steak.
Yes, the standard serving size is really 3 oz., but if you're used to eating a 16 oz. steak, 3 oz. will likely seem too little. 12 oz. is 25 % less than 16 oz. (and more than a 200 calorie savings) and shouldn't leave you feeling too hungry. And here's the benefit:
Save 200 calories per day and lose 20 pounds per year!
How to Reduce Portion Sizes
Download a Serving Size Card (PDF file) to help you recall what a standard food serving looks like. Cut out the card and keep it in your wallet to refer to.
More weight loss.
Learn more about portion size and portion control.
Back to Personal Nutrition Guide Home.
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.