Servings and Portions


When we are trying to lose weight the Confusion between “servings” and “portions” makes eating the right amount of food difficult. Serving sizes are standardized amounts of food with specific calorie and nutrient contents. Portions, on the other hand, are how much we choose to eat. To make sure you aren’t overeating, you must know the size of a serving. The following everyday approximations should help.

Approximate Single-Serving Sizes

Grilled fish Personal checkbook
Potato Computer mouse
Meat serving Deck of cards
Hard cheese Four dice
Peanut butter Tip of your thumb
Cup of fruit Baseball
Apple/Orange Tennis ball

Once we see how small servings are, most of us realize our portions are way too big. A typical serving of steak at a restaurant, for example, is the size of four decks of cards, the equivalent of four servings. Obviously, choosing to eat wisely means giving importance both to what and to how much we eat. Serving sizes can be sneaky. You think you’re watching your calories by glancing at the nutrition information on the back of your favorite food or beverage, but beware: If you don’t read carefully, you could be taking in four or five times the calories you think you are. Take, for example, that bag of Bear Naked Banana Nut granola that you like for breakfast. Pour yourself a medium bowlful and you could be eating as many calories and grams of fat as a McDonald’s double cheeseburger. That’s because the actual serving size is only 1/4 cup (a mere 4 tablespoons) and 140 calories. Pour a whole cup’s worth (which is easy to do) and you’re eating 560 calories and 28 grams of fat.

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16 thoughts on “Servings and Portions

  1. wartica says:

    I totally agree; I always have the same problem deciphering the two. My problem – that I’m still working on – is cutting back the portions. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:))

    • Thanks,and yes cutting back on portions is hard but you have to remember you’r body doesn’t need those extra portions and you’r actually going to feel ever better without them. Controling you’r portions will get easier,but you also need to have a healthy eating plan in place. Keep up the good work.

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