Shape Up: Portion Control

So you’ve worked your bum off and you just can’t seem to drop those last few pounds. We’ve all been there. While exercise is essential for getting fit and feeling fabulous, one of the most important parts of slimming down and maintaining a healthy weight is understanding the delicate balance of portions versus serving size. So what’s the difference between the two? According to WebMD, a portion is the amount of food you actually put on your plate. A serving size is a “specific amount of food defined by common measurements, such as cups or tablespoons” that is set by the USDA. Many of us mistake a portion for a serving. This can be dangerous as it can lead to overeating (and added inches at the waistline). No thank you. That said, it’s important to have a solid understanding of what a serving should look like. (Hint: It shouldn’t look like this or this.) If you can eyeball how much pasta you really should be serving yourself, you’ll be better able to watch your waistline and maintain a healthy weight.

I looked around online and found a lot of photo comparisons between foods and random items such as dice, decks of cards and so on that provide visual cues as to how much a food serving should be when compared to a familiar object. Well, seeing as I’m a total beauty junkie, I figured I’d work with my team to put together a visual that all of you likeminded beauty-lovers could understand to help you make better judgment calls when it comes to portion control…

Vegetables = 1 cup (cooked), 1 ½ cups (raw) = Loofah

Fruit = 1 cup = 2 Beauty Blenders

Meat & Fish = 3 ounces = 6-pan Eyeshadow Compact

Whole Grains = ½ cup = Compact

Cheese = 1 ounce = 1 Eyeshadow

Oils & Fats = 1 tablespoon = 1 Mini Bottle of Nail Polish

By using the above chart as your guide, you won’t need to carry around a measuring cup to know how much you really should eat. Use these visual beauty cues as a reminder and your scale will thank you.

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is eyeballing it and accidentally eating more than we really need. The problem is portion distortion. When we go to restaurants we are often served portions that equate to multiple servings, which is why knowing how to guesstimate your servings is key. Keep things in check by reminding yourself of the proper serving sizes and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle or achieving your weight loss goals.

What’s your favorite healthy lunch?

Sound off in the comments below.

Also, what’s been your toughest obstacle in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

XO Lauren

P.S. Here are my sources for this post: USDA Serving Sizes, WebMD, Livestrong. Also, keep in mind that the images above are estimates as they may vary in size. Be sure to check the USDA Serving Size chart or the suggested servings I listed below for more exact amounts.

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