Thursday, March 22, 2012

Don't Over Eat: Control Your Portion Sizes and Get Your Plate in Shape!

Written by Maggie Reinhold
Part of National Nutrition Month 2012

In the past decade the percent of people in the United States who are over weight or obese has increased greatly. But the question is why?

The obesity epidemic in United States is mainly attributed to American’s habit of over eating. We are surrounded by restaurants that offer all-you-can-eat and super sized options for a low price and this has become a custom in our society. With this we have lost the ability to identify what an accurate serving size is. Research has shown that Americans often underestimate how many calories they consume each day by as much as 25 percent.

It is hard to visualize what a proper serving size is, especially when cooking something like raw pasta. But once you use what you think is the correct serving and then notice half the box is gone, you actually end up eating two to four servings instead. The chart to the right is a good visual aid to help understand what an appropriate serving size is and to help avoid over eating.

Portion control will help individuals lose weight. Ways to control portion sizes include measuring food accurately and being able to estimate proper serving sizes, which can be done by using the chart I mentioned and using different measuring tools like measuring cups, tablespoons, etc.

Most importantly listen to your stomach! Eat when you are hungry and stop eating when you feel comfortably full. If the food is there you don’t have to eat every bite, eat until you are about 80 percent full and stop. These are just a couple tips to control portion sizes, which is very important to maintaining a healthy weight. Control your portions and get your plate in shape!


Stewart, K. (2009, August 5). Ten Easy Portion Control Tricks. Retrieved from:

Sugar, J. (2012, February 15). What Does a Serving Size Look Like? Retrieved from:

Arthritis Today. (Artist). (n.d.). Arthritis Today Portion Size Chart [Artwork]. Retrieved from:

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