Imagine you are ordering a small coffee from Starbucks. When you get your coffee, do you ever think "That's a small?!" I sure do. Last weekend we went out to eat icecream at a local shop. I ordered a small, and when they handed it to me over the counter I was almost positive they must have made a mistake and given me a large. That is, until I saw the woman behind us ordering a large cup. It was ridiculously HUGE. Why in the world do we even offer such a large amount of ice cream for one person?!
When I go out to eat these days I often order kids meals and kiddie sized things. The problem with this is that a lot of places won't let you buy a kid size unless you are 12 years old or younger. Again, ridiculous. So either I have to buy a huge amount that I won't eat even half of and waste the rest, or I have to eat up and stuff myself overly full?! No thanks.
In europe they don't even have cups as large as our small cups here in America, unless it is a beer mug. And it's not just the portion sizes that differentiate us from Europe. It's also the fact that we have so much processed, synthetic, high carbohydrate and sodium filled foods for preservation and fast availablitly. That's not something they do much in other countries.
We live in America, but that doesn't mean we have to conform to these HUGE American portion sizes. I found a chart once to understand portions sizes better, and it's been very helpful for me. Let me share:
- A baseball or size of your fist- would be one serving of vegetables or fruit
- Tennis ball- measures to about ½ cup of food (for example, ½ cup ice cream)
- Golf ball or large egg- is about a ¼ cup of dried fruit or nuts
- Six dice or one domino- would equal one serving of cheese
- Deck of cards or the palm of your hand- equivalent to a serving of meat, fish or poultry
- Tip of your thumb- about one-teaspoon of peanut butter
- Computer mouse- one serving of a baked potato
- CD (compact disc)- equals the serving size of a waffle of pancake
- Check book- equals a 3 oz. serving of fish
- A rounded handful- about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta
This is so important people. Portions! Moderation! Practice self disipline, in the end it will be so worth it. Stay healthy, don't starve yourself. Small amounts often, that's the key!
I have plenty of weaknesses. If I buy a Dr. Pepper, I only buy a small can. (Have you noticed how hard it is to find just a can of soda these days?!) And then I only drink half the can. If I buy a candy bar I eat a third of it and give the rest away. If I decide on dessert at the resteraunt, I split it or get a small personal sized dessert. Get the idea?
ALWAYS LOOK AT FOOD LABELS. This is where you will find the serving size, amount of calories (don't forget that's per serving size, which is often a few per package!), Nutrients, and ingredients. If you can't pronounce an ingredient listed, you should probably rethink eating it!