Perfect Portions

Help yourself! Dishing up just-right amounts can help you stay on track.
Perfect PortionsTopic Of the Week

Getting serving sizes right is often more than meets the eye — yet it's one of the keys to helping you lose weight and keep it off. Using easy tricks and tools like measuring cups and food scales makes it easy to dole out perfect portions of just about any food, drink or ingredient when you’re at home. But toting those tools around when you’re at a party or a picnic or a backyard barbecue or a food festival or any other deliciously dangerous event of summer simply isn't practical.

Up for discussion at your meeting this week: the challenges of getting portion sizes right when you're not at home. Use your guesstimating skills and brush up on portion equivalents so you can easily (and often stealthily) use visual match-ups anywhere, anytime. When you're home this week, weigh and measure your food and beverages; the more you measure, the more natural it will feel. Use some of the tips and tricks that you'll learn in the meeting. And share a few of your own below in the comments section at the end of this article.

Train your brain to recognize the right size
You'll find that the more you measure at home, the easier it’ll be to gauge accurate portions when you’re eating out. So whenever you measure and serve yourself, take a mental snapshot: "Here's what one cup of couscous looks like. This is a teaspoon of butter." Then no matter where you're dining — the office cafeteria, a food court at the mall, or your favorite Chinese buffet — you'll feel more confident in your ability to eye the right size. And if you need a few ideas, the list below is a good place to start. Remember though, one of the keys to making healthy habits like this one stick, is to find out what works best for you.

On the go
Lip balm1-ounce serving of cheese
Folding wallet1-ounce slice of French bread
Sunglasses 6-ounce fish fillet
At a sporting event
Hockey puck½ cup serving of mashed potatoes, beans, or ice cream
Golf ball¼ cup of nuts
Baseball1 medium piece of fruit
Tennis ball1 cup serving of rice
In the office
Roll of transparent tape1 small piece of fruit
Standard pink eraser1-ounce serving of cheese
2" x 2" self-stick note1 brownie
At a restaurant or hotel
Tea cup1 cup of cooked pasta or rice
Half an orange½ cup of coleslaw
Mini bar of soap1-ounce serving of cheese
On a business trip or vacation
CD/DVDLarge bagel or 1 pancake
USB thumb drive1-ounce serving of cheese
Pocket digital camera3-ounce serving of meat

More easy ways to keep portions in check wherever you happen to be

A Hand-y Guide
A Hand-y Guide
How much is a cup of popcorn? About the size of your fist. How about a tablespoon of peanut butter? Your thumb. Wherever you are, you have a helpful tool at the end of your arm! Our Portion Estimator gives you quick visual tricks for estimating portion size on the go.
How Do You Measure Up?
How Do You Measure Up?
From food scales to serving spoons to salad containers and more — we’ve got a roundup of kitchen tools designed to help you stay on track and in control of your portions. Browse and learn more about our products.
Sizzling ‘n’ Savory
Sizzling ‘n’ Savory
Easy enough for weeknights, but special enough for weekend guests, Lamb and Vegetable Kabobs, this week’s recipe from the Weekly, are fun to make and grill up in 10 minutes flat. Don’t forget to track it!
Next week’s topic: Find more minutes for yourself!

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