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Portion Control


In a world of “super-sized” food, it’s easy to lose sight of how much you’re eating. Simple portion-control techniques can help trim calories — and weight.

Read the label

Take this test: Put your usual portion of pasta on your dinner plate and then measure it. You might find that it’s two or three times more than the recommended serving on the package label.

Stay away from “super” anything

Words like “grande,” “super” or “supreme” probably signal more food than you need. These “value” portions are no deal when it comes to fat and calories.

Good things come in little packages

Buy single-portion packages. Prepackaged servings of cheese, yogurt, tuna, frozen meals and lunch kits take the guesswork out of portion sizes.

The right size

Can’t be bothered to measure your food? Here are some everyday items that can help you size up servings:

  • A light bulb = 1 serving (1⁄2 cup) of vegetables
  • A computer mouse = a medium potato
  • A bar of soap = 3 ounces of meat (the recommended portion for a meal)
  • An eyeglass case = 3 ounces of fish (the recommended portion)
  • Two dice = 2 teaspoons of butter or margarine
  • Two dominoes = 1 ounce of cheese
  • A ping-pong ball = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or salad dressing
  • A tennis ball = 1⁄2 cup of rice … or ice cream
  • A baseball (not a softball) = 1 cup pasta


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