Sunday, October 26, 2014

The How-to Guide to Your Meal Size

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Over the last few decades, portion sizes have increased considerably. In fact, some research suggests that Americans are consuming an average of 10% more calories than they did in the 1970's. It's no wonder obesity is a huge public health crisis in the US! Not to worry, Bon'App is here to help you figure out how you can eat the proper portions of your favorite foods so that you stay on track with your healthy eating goals!

To give you a comparison of the dramatic changes in portions over the last twenty years:

Bagels
      20 years ago                               Today
  (3-inch diameter)                   (5-6 inches in diameter)

Movie Theater Popcorn


20 years ago                                Today
(5 cups; 270 Calories)           (Tub; 630 Calories)



Cheeseburger

20 years ago                              Today
(333 Calories)                          (590 Calories)

When McDonald’s was founded in 1955, its only hamburger weighed about 1.6 ounces. Now, the largest McDonald's hamburger patty weighs 8 ounces, an increase of 400%!

What is a portion size?
portion size refers to the amount of food that constitutes one portion, or serving, of that food. Different foods can have very different portion sizes, even within the same food groups! For example, the serving sizes of broccoli and peas are different. Portion sizes are based on how many calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates a given food contains as well as how much of that food one should consume on a given day (daily recommendation).

How to better calculate your portions:
Serving sizes are always listed on packaged food, so make sure to read the label before snacking away! Note, portion sizes should be viewed as guidelines, not recommendations. Use these tips to help you control your portions:
  1. What are proper portions? As a general rule, a serving of fruits and vegetables is as follows: 1 fruit, 1 cup of berries, or 1 cup of vegetables. A serving of protein-filled foods, including meat, chicken, and fish, is generally 3 ounces (the size of a deck of cards!). 
  2. Brown bag it! When you go to a restaurant, cut your meal into the proper portion and then ask your server to put the rest into a doggy bag. This way, you won't be tempted to eat more than your proper portion.
  3. Use smaller bowls and plates! You can trick yourself into thinking your portion of food is more than it actually is by simply using a smaller plate or bowl. 
  4. Track your food! Use Bon'App to track what you eat for meals and snacks so that you can measure how you are doing on your daily goals for Calories, Sugar, Salt, Bad Fat, Protein, and Fiber! When your batteries turn red, you know you should pay more attention to the foods you eat for the rest of the day so that you don't exceed your daily goals!
Remember, no food is off limits as long as you eat the correct portion size! If you want to learn more, visit WebMD. This website has compiled a resource for portion sizes of countless foods, broken up into categories such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, meat, and beans.

Remember Your Portion Sizes!


1 cup of cereal = size of fist
1 pancake = size of CD disc
1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta = 1/2 baseball
1 baked potato = size of fist
2 tablespoons of butter = 1 ping pong ball
1/2 cup ice cream =  1/2 baseball
3 ounces of meat = deck of cards

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