How to measure your portion sizes

By: Canadian Living

Author: Canadian Living


How to measure your portion sizes

By: Canadian Living
This article was originally titled, "Size Matters" in the Canadian Living special issue, Eat Right Volume 2. Visit the Special Issues page for information on how to buy this issue.

Along with our expanding waistlines, the sizes of our bowls, cups and plates have also grown over the years. Just look at antique dinnerware as a comparison. Plate diameters are about 2 inches (5 cm) smaller on old porcelain, whereas today's new sets of china include plates that may be mistaken for serving platters. Using smaller plates, bowls and cups can help cut down on portion size, since petite serving vessels hold less food. Some people even use salad plates for their main course in an effort to curb gigantic helpings.

Select a plate that is eight to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) in diameter and arrange your favourite healthy foods on it to look like this:
• Half-filled with vegetables and salad
• Quarter-filled with starch (rice or pasta)
• Quarter-filled with protein (such as fish, chicken breast or beans)
• One serving of fruit on the side

Food court options, such as plates of piled-high rice with chicken souvlaki or chow mein, provide enough food for two dinners. When preparing dinners at home, you have more control over the size of the plate and the amount of food you serve, so you can control the portion you consume.

Let your hands guide you
For a quick guide to proper portion sizes, look no farther than your own two hands.

Here's how to estimate the amount you should eat.

• The palm of your hand: one serving (75 g/2.5 oz) of chicken, meat, fishor seafood

• A closed fist: one serving (1 cup/250 mL) of salad

• A cupped hand: one serving (1/2 cup/125 mL) of vegetables or grains, such as pasta or rice

• A thumb tip: 1 tsp (5 mL) of added fat, such as oil, butter or margarine

• An entire thumb: 1 tbsp (15 mL) of salad dressing

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How to measure your portion sizes