Easy tips to visualize portion size

One of the hardest parts about trying to eat right and exercise is working hard and making the healthy choices, yet still not seeing the exact results that align with your goals. Not achieving those goals can leave you feeling discouraged and less motivated than the beginning; however, there can sometimes be reasons why the results have not shown up yet. One of the biggest factors that can hold an individual back is portion control. As a country, we are overeaters—the portion sizes can be 2, 3, 4 times or more larger than they should be.

MyPlateMost of us grew up using the familiar food guide pyramid to target daily food requirements. Today there is the improved MyPlate diagram. Moving towards a plate provides a much easier and relatable resource from the USDA to monitor the size of your portions in relation to the size of your plate. The plate still provides the necessary information on what our bodies need on a daily basis.  

Recently, there have been quite a few ‘pins’ circulating on Pinterest geared towards portion control and finding a simpler way to stay on track. The first pin I noticed helped provide a bit of perspective on how much our society’s portions have grown in the past 20 years. For example, the portion size for a bag or bucket of popcorn is 360 calories more today than it was 20 years ago. Even more drastically, the portion size for spaghetti and meatballs today is 525 calories more than it was 20 years ago. 

It can be inconvenient and difficult to constantly measure and weigh the amount of food you eat—let alone at a restaurant when you are unlikely to whip out measuring cups and a scale before you enjoy your meal. This pin allows you to utilize a tool that you never leave home without: your hand! By measuring portions with relation to food type by your fist, palm, thumb, handful, and more, controlling the size of your portions becomes much easier and much more convenient. 

Not sure where to start for healthy snack options and correct portion sizes? Use these pins for ideas. 

50 Foods Under 100 Calories 

What Does 200 Calories Look Like? 

What are your favorite portion control tips and tricks? 

Photo credit: ChooseMyPlate.gov

Kristin Coppens

About Kristin Coppens

Kristin Coppens is responsible for BCBSM coverage of the West Michigan, Northern Michigan, and Upper Peninsula regions. Kristin is a writer, social media enthusiast, and information junkie. A self-proclaimed foodie, techie, and political nerd, she is a dedicated promoter of Grand Rapids community development, urban engagement, arts, healthcare, wellness, supporting and buying local, entrepreneurism, and the city as a whole.
 
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