We know what to eat and when to eat but do we understand the importance of portion control? Yes, portion control is an important ingredient of a balanced meal. The typical servings in today’s time have increased drastically. When you go out to restaurants, one dish doesn’t serve just one person, it’s ideally meant for more. Yet, more often than not we end up eating it all.
We may be eating all the right things but sometimes forget to consider its quantity. Learning the art of portion control will allow you to eat everything that you love and you won’t even be disappointed the next time you look at the weighing scale!
Have you noticed, while browsing for easy diet plans online, we often come across terms such as one serving of vegetables, or half a serving of dal? Most of these diets inevitably fail to mention is the portion of rice or roti to go with it.
Now now, don’t get hassled. We understand that measuring everything in cups and spoons all the time is almost next to impossible.
Hence, we bring to you this handy guide to portion control that will help you streamline your serving sizes. This will allow you to measure the portions just with your hand. Easy-peasy and of course travel friendly, isn’t it?
To understand portion control, we first need to understand what a food pyramid is, how do we choose food options from it and to maintain the right portions. Food pyramid comprises of five major food groups. Each group contains a set of food options which share similar nutritional properties and no single group provides all the nutrients. So to meet your daily nutritional needs, you need to include food items from each group. Let’s learn about each group and the serving size that is acceptable.
Whole grains group: Roti, rice, pasta, noodles, bread or breakfast cereals, we need 6-8 servings of whole grains in a day. Let us look at the portion size of each, according to one serving:
1 serving of grains =
Roti – size of your hand (approx. 6 inch)
Bread- 1 slice is size of palm
Rice/pasta – ½ cup (125 ml) – ½ fist
Breakfast cereals – 30 gms- 1 fist
Fruits and vegetables group: We need 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruits daily. It includes all fruits and vegetables.
Here’s how the serving looks like:
Small sized fruits (cherries, pomegranate, berries) – Two cupped palms would be the ideal portion for eating these tiny fruits, approximately 80 grams. Whole fruits (orange, apple, peach, plum, pear) – 1 fruit – 1 fist
Leafy vegetables (raw)- 1 cup(250 ml) – 1 fist
Cooked vegetable – ½ cup equivalent to a baseball is the recommended serving size of a vegetable
Dairy products – We need 2-3 servings daily of milk, curd, cheese and/or paneer.
A single serving would look like:
Mik – 1 cup (250 ml) – 1 fist
Yoghurt/curd – 3/4th cup (175 ml) – 1 fist
Cheese – 50 gms – 2 thumbs
Protein group – We need 2-3 servings per day. It includes meat, fish, beans, eggs, nuts, etc. Here is how the serving looks like:
Chicken/fish/meat – palm of hand
Beans/sprouts – 3/4th cup (175 ml) – 1 fist
Nuts – 20 gms – a handful
Fats, oils, sweets group: We need to have these sparingly. It includes butter/margarine, ghee, oil. Here is how the servings looks like:
Butter/oil/ghee – 1 tbsp (15 ml) – 1 thumb
1 tsp (5 ml) – 1 thumb tip
Now, all this is mandatory for a healthy diet, but we will also talk about your favourite foods!
- Chocolate – One serving of chocolate should be restricted to the size of your index finger (approximately 20 grams).
- Cheese – A serving of cheese should be the length and depth of both your thumbs (approximately 30 grams).
- Cakes/muffins – It should be restricted to the length and width of two fingers.
- French fries/chips/Nachos –a clenched fist of either is equivalent to one serving.
- Fruit juices/drinks – These are high in sugar, and should be restricted to ½ cup (125 ml) which can be easily measured as ½ fist.
So, you don’t have to go into the nitty-gritty of using serving spoons/cups to measure food items. The secret to your portion control is in your hand. This is such a simpler way of measuring your food items and can be used on the go.
We strongly believe portion control plays a crucial role in weight loss. That’s the reason our diet app not only gives food options which help you lose weight, but also the portions that are easy to understand and are regular households measure like bowl, ladle, soup bowl, etc., making your weight loss journey as easy as possible.
Choose the right portion, enjoy the food you eat and be on the path to your ideal weight – That is our mantra!
Vishruta is a nutritionist by profession and a writer by heart. Content writing and menu planning have become her passions over the past few years. Love food, love life — is her mantra.