Food plays a major role in losing weight or maintaining healthy weight. Exercises alone won’t help us in losing weight and most of us have experienced the failure of weight loss without controlling the food intake in our lifetime. But when it comes to food a big confusion arises whether to give attention to serving sizes or portion sizes? Which is more important and what is the difference?
For our better understanding first we need to differentiate these two terms:
Servings sizes are the amount of food or drink that should be served at one time. It is measured in the amount of 1 cup, 1 slice, etc. It is usually seen on the food labels which are the recommended dietary guidelines.
For example: 1 cup of pasta or 1 tbsp. of fat (oil/butter), ½ cup fresh fruits and so on.
Portion Size on the other hand is the actual amount of food that we consume from our plate. The portion size can be smaller or larger than the serving size.
The restaurants have changed the meaning of serving size by increasing it to three times than the real serving size requirement. Now, it’s upon us to control our portion sizes in order to maintain good health.
It is true that measuring accurate portion sizes isn’t always practical but there ways to control portion sizes like 1 fist = 1 cup, 1 pointer finger = 1 ½ ounces, handful = ½ cup, flat hand = 1 slice and so on.
As per my understanding, portion size is what helps us in weight loss or weight management and it is important to learn the right portion sizes for ourselves. There are many ways to control portion sizes and the first step is to reprogram our brains and visualize.
If we are out and do not have measuring cups, we can visualize a tennis ball which is equivalent to 1 cup, would suffice for a good carbohydrate like quinoa, pasta, rice etc.
Granola should be consumed in limitation and enjoyed as a topping. Don’t get carried away by its serving size on the box, focus on your portion size.
Always opt for fresh fruits for more nutrition, water, fiber and for energy boosting source. Dry fruits are good too but in small quantities because they are packed with loads of sugar.
Vegetables are awesome if cooked in the right manner and not overloaded with creamy dressings. Vegetables provide nutrition, fiber and all the minerals and vitamins but again don’t forget the portion size. Leafy greens can amount up to 2-3 cups and non-starchy vegetables can amount up to 1 cup but they are low in calories whereas starchy vegetables in a chopped form can amount up to 1 cup but they are high in calories. Hence, knowing the portion size becomes all the more important here.
Focus on lean protein, the portion size of which can amount up to a deck of card (3 ounces) whereas a slice of cheese or one cheese string should be the proper portion. For fats like olive oil, grapeseed oil etc. 1 tablespoon is the required portion size.
If we know our portion sizes we have won half the battle of maintaining good health and the rest can be achieved by a good workout sessions. Remember to eat everything but in right portions to stay fit and healthy.
Health tip of the week
“Right portion sizes over the serving sizes are more important for good health”.