Manipal Nurse Sunday Column: Pay attention to portion sizes

It is hard to turn down a super-size, and extra-large portion at a restaurant. You tell yourself a few extra fries here or a large soda there is not a big deal. Or maybe it is a salad and you convince yourself it is still healthy, even if you eat a dinner-size portion at lunchtime. It won’t do any harm, right?

It is important to eat small portion sizes to stay healthy and ward off obesity. But how do you even know what the right size is? To help you visualize better, here is what normal portion sizes look like, according to the American Heart Association (AHA):Salad Portion

1 ounce of meat: size of a matchbox
3 ounces of meat: size of deck of cards or bar of soap
8 ounces of meat: size of thin paperback book
3 ounces of fish: size of checkbook
1 ounce cheese: size of four dice
2 tablespoons peanut butter: size of ping-pong ball
1 cup pasta: size of tennis ball
regular bagel: size of hockey puck
medium apple or orange: size of tennis ball
cup of lettuce: four leaves
1 cup chopped raw vegetables or
fruit: size of baseball

Portion size options
Sure, it may sound easy to judge portion size according to common household items, but how do you stay on track? Here are some ideas to
help you control portion size, courtesy of the AHA:
Instead of: Scarfing down a large fast-food hamburger; Try : Consuming a regular fast-food hamburger
Instead of: Supersize fast-food fries;  Try :Small fast-food fries
Instead of: Ordering a large soda; Try :Sipping on a small soda
Instead of: Getting your own entree;  Try : Sharing one with a friend
Instead of: Using cream cheese on your bagel; Try :A low-fat cream cheese or use half the amount you usually do
Instead of: Eating your entire meal at once;  Try : Saving the other half for lunch the next day
Instead of: Eating from the potato chip bag; Try : Placing a few chips on a plate

About Nurse 69 Articles
When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don't remember me nor I them. But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.