Portion Distortion

Chicken saladPortion Distortion

A number of times a year, when I get on the scale for my biweekly weigh in, I discover that my weight is on the rise. There are typically two culprits: I’ve either been veering towards poor food choices or I’ve been eating way too much. For me, it is typically 80% of the latter.

This statement may sound a bit judgmental, but size truly does matterportion size and body size (BMI), that is. When I go overboard with my food portions, my weight creeps up, and when that happens, the waistbands of my pants get tight…and that’s when I know I need to buckle down and get back to a more restrained way of eating.

Most Americans have no idea what healthy food portions look like. Let’s face it, the “single helping” of food we’re served restaurants is often enough to feed a whole family in another nation! So let’s get back to basics today and revisit what you may have learned way back in your high school’s Health class, but have long since forgotten.


Meat, fish (Proteins): One serving should be approximately the size of your palm with the thickness of your index finger.

Vegetables: One full serving would fit in your cupped palms held side by side.

Fruit: One serving would be approximately the size of your fist.

Bread/Pasta/Rice (Carbohydrates): Think of packing that carbohydrate into a tennis-sized ball. That is a good way to visualize one serving.

So why, if I know what healthy portions look like, do I get carried away and eat too much? Honestly, it’s a lack of discipline on my part. The food tastes so delicious; I simply ignore the reasoning side of my brain and listen only to my pleasure seeking tongue. Other times I find I am stuffing down some negative emotion with my food. Maybe I am going through a spell where I feel frustrated, lonely, or bored. And then there are those winter days when I believe I am eating just to warm up!

Whatever my reason for overeating—or yours—once we notice our weight rising, we need to immediately cut out the excuses and cut down on our portions…for Heaven’s Sake!

To return to previous Monday Morning Health Tips, click here.