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100 Days restart - Day 19: Eat reasonable amounts

Jenn J

Day 19: Eat reasonable amounts

Do you know how much food you should be eating? What equals a serving? If you're following a specific diet plan, you need to know whether you're matching the program's guidelines. And at social gatherings where food is served family-style, you need ways to estimate serving sizes so you don't put too much on your plate to begin with.

Start by making sure that you know how to measure foods accurately. It doesn't matter if you're counting calories, fat grams, or carbohydrates. You still have to know how many chips are in one ounce or what a half cup of pasta actually looks like. Instead of taking the amount you think is right, practice your estimating skills by comparing your serving with the real thing.

Accurate guessing

Place what you think is a half cup of cereal or pasta into a bowl. Then pour the food into a measuring cup to see if you got it right.

With snack foods, pick up the amount you would guess equals one ounce. Then check your accuracy by using a food scale to weigh the food. You might also want to count out the exact number of nuts or chips in a one-ounce serving so you'll know for next time.

Serving sizes have a way of growing over time. Every once in a while, pull out your scale and your measuring cups again. Check your estimates to make sure an ounce of cheese hasn't doubled or that a cup of ice cream hasn't become a pint.

Use your palm

In places where you don't have the option of weighing or measuring food, use the palm of your hand to determine the right amount. Because it correlates with body build, your palm gives an accurate way to gauge serving sizes.

For example, the correct serving of meat (anywhere from three to six ounces) is usually the amount that's exactly the size of your palm. With snack foods such as nuts or chips, a typical serving is the amount you can hold loosely in one hand. If you reach for more, you've just taken another serving.


With each of the foods you eat today, take the amount you think is your designated serving size. Then weigh or measure the food and see how close you came to being correct.

Repeat this exercise until you are confident about your estimating skills

In your notebook, write down your ideal serving size for the food items you eat most.

  flower Replied:

  Lyn💛 Replied:

I refuse to be a slave to measuring and tracking so I have learned how much and what I should be eating and go by that. BUT, every so often I do get out my measuring cups and I track for a few days just to make sure my portion sizes have not crept up and that I am doing as well as I think I am. Sometimes I am right on, sometimes not so much. LOL

  Jenn J Replied:

Right now I'm eating things that are set portions. Eggs, bacon, presliced cheese. That being said, I probably eat more raw veggies than I record as I don't measure that. I'm not too worried about that since there are almost no sugars in veggies.

  Jeanne- CE! Replied:

I stopped weighing and measuring when I started eating clean in 2011. That was a scary move, but it did teach me to listen to my body. I also check in with serving sizes periodically, then tweak according to what really works for me and keeps me within my healthy goal weight range. The ultimate goal is wellness for life!

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.