Portion Control

- POSTED ON: Mar 13, 2011


The term “portion control” actually means:
“a precise amount of content to control usage”

That precise amount could be any amount,
and actually could consist of a portion…or precise amount…
of food far more than one might desire to eat.

This can be true of any food, presented in any way.
For example, bulk commodies (such as salt) can be divided
into individual packages that are a more suitable size for individual households,
however, this doesn’t mean that one must consume the entire package at any one sitting.

A common definition of “portion control”
is understanding how much a serving size is.
If one is counting calories…this would include
how many calories a serving contains.
A serving size could be ANY amount,
therefore “portion control” does not automatically limit size of a substance.

 Nutritionists, and other “experts” like the USDA,
have devised simple formulas
to define a “portion” …or precise amount....of a specific food
for easy mental reference…and to provide a “common definition” for society.

Those common definitions are then easily used
by people to determine individually, what amount of specific foods
would be optimal for a person of that particular size
in order for that person to keep from gaining weight, or for weight-loss.
These simple formulas are used by many people to easily “eyeball” their food,
and consciously choose the proportions that will benefit them personally,

The existence of common portion definitions doesn’t necessarily limit food-intake.
It merely defines a specific size of food as a specific number of servings.
A definition doesn’t limit food-intake,
it merely provides a tool of knowledge.
One can still eat whatever amount of food they choose to eat,
but portion definitions bring Intellectual Awareness to the process.
The term “Control: merely means
to have power over, or to direct influence over…
So “portion control” is merely having power over
or directing influence over the specific amounts of food one eats.
EVERYONE necessarily does that every time they eat.

Assuming one has access to unlimited amounts of food,
one controls one’s food-intake portions
via the body’s physical reactions…such as discomfort, nausea etc,
or one can choose to control one’s food-intake portions
via their intellectual knowledge of what their body requires.
In modern civilization, most people use a combination of both methods.

For examples of the Definitions of common serving sizes:
According to the USDA, one serving equals:

  • one slice of whole-grain bread
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta
  • 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes
  • three to four small crackers
  • one small pancake or waffle
  • two medium-sized cookies
  • 1/2 cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup (four leaves) lettuce
  • one small baked potato
  • 3/4 cup vegetable juice
  • One medium apple
  • 1/2 grapefruit or mango
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1 cup yogurt or milk
  • 1 1/2 ounces of cheddar cheese
  • one chicken breast
  • one medium pork chop
  • 1/4 pound hamburger patty

 Other common definitions translate the abstract information of serving size
into visual images that can be easily remembered.
For example, a single serving of:

  • Vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist.
  • Pasta is about the size of one scoop of ice cream.
  • Meat, fish, or poultry is the size of a deck of cards or the size of your palm (minus the fingers).
  • Snacks such as pretzels and chips is about the size of a cupped handful.
  • Apple is the size of a baseball.
  • Potato is the size of a computer mouse.
  • Bagel is the size of a hockey puck.
  • Pancake is the size of a compact disc.
  • Steamed rice is the size of a cupcake wrapper.
  • Cheese is the size of a pair of dice or the size of your whole thumb (from the tip to the base).


Leave me a comment.

Please Login to comment on this blog.

Existing Comments:

On Mar 13, 2011 Karen925 wrote:
I have become so accustomed to weighing my foods, taring out between additions, that I found these common portion sizes skimpy. I starting mulling that over and realized how easy it is to supersize protions for me without much effort or seeming excess. For example, pasta. I have pretty much eliminated it from my diet. On rare going out occasions I do not have it. I fix it for the family but not for me. The question is why? I found it easier to lose/maintain without it, not to mention my skin behaves better too. But then I see I should eat only 1/2 cup, and that is quite small for the grasping tongs. I would rather have spaghetti squash or zucchini threads which is a lot more food and more filling for alot less physical cost thatn 1/2 cup of processed wheat. Back in the day, I bet I could easily fit 2-3 cups of pasta on my normal sized plate. Only surprising thing about that is that I did not gain more weight than I did. Keep you blogging coming.

On Mar 13, 2011 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Karen, that is so true. Even as long as I've been doing this, I can easily turn 1 portion into 1 1/2 or 2, unless I weigh and measure. And as for cheese...I ALWAYS have to weigh it out. Because of our familiarity with enormous portions, I've found a dinner plate can easily hold up to 4 cups of pasta without looking abnormally large, and since, when I have pasta, my allotment is 1/2 cup of pasta, that is about 8 portions.

<< Previous Blog
Search Blogs
DietHobby is a Digital Scrapbook of my personal experience in weight-loss-and-maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all. Every diet works for Someone, but no diet works for Everyone.
- View 2019
- View 2018
- View 2017
- View 2016
- View 2015
- View 2014
- View 2013
- View 2012
- View 2011

Mar 01, 2020
DietHobby: A Digital Scrapbook.
2000+ Blogs and 500+ Videos in DietHobby reflect my personal experience in weight-loss and maintenance. One-size-doesn't-fit-all, and I address many ways-of-eating whenever they become interesting or applicable to me.

Jun 01, 2019
DietHobby is my Personal Blog Website.
DietHobby sells nothing; posts no advertisements; accepts no contributions. It does not recommend or endorse any specific diets, ways-of-eating, lifestyles, supplements, foods, products, activities, or memberships.

May 01, 2017
DietHobby is Mobile-Friendly.
Technical changes! It is now easier to view DietHobby on iPhones and other mobile devices.