Healthy Diet & Nutrition

How Much Are You Eating?

Editor’s note: In the midst of hearty holiday-season eating, it can be easy to forget how much you’re actually scarfing down. Here, the experts from Go4Life, a division of the National Institute on Aging, have some good reminders about how to calculate your eating habits, even into the New Year.

Don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach! Watching how much you eat can help you maintain a healthy weight.

A “serving” is how much of each type of food you should eat to meet recommended daily nutrition requirements. A “portion” is how much of a single food is actually on your dish—it can vary from meal to meal. When eating your daily meals:

  • Stop eating when you are satisfied, not full. If there’s still food on your plate, save it for another time.
  • Use a smaller plate, bowl, or glass to help you eat and drink less.
  • Order an item from the menu instead of heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet.
  • Skip the “super sizes.”
  • Share a restaurant entrée with a friend—or eat just half and take home the rest. (Tip: Put leftovers in the fridge in two hours or sooner. Then enjoy them for lunch or dinner the next day.)
  • Read What’s On Your Plate?, the National Institute on Aging guide to healthy eating.
  • Visit ChooseMyPlateto see how much to eat from each food group based on your age, sex, and physical activity level.

It’s also helpful to picture a serving size with these examples:

  • 3 ounces of meat or poultry = a deck of cards
  • 1–1 1/2 ounces of hard cheese = four dice
  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese = a golf ball
  • 1 cup of salad or cooked vegetables = a baseball
  • 3 ounces grilled/baked fish = checkbook

Reprinted courtesy of Go4Life, of the National Institute on Aging. For more of their information on health and fitness issues, click here.

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