Foods
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How do you measure/portion food?


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Okay, this may sound really stupid...

But I want to get better at portion control and counting calories. For veggies and fruits , do you just kind of estimate whether you ate a cup or so by looking at it, or do you actually put it in a measuring device? For meat, do you weigh it on a scale to see how many oz you are eating? Is there an easier way if I don't have a scale?

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I just bought a digital scale that measures in either ounces or grams.  I was scooping with cups but decided to go a bit more precise. 

I'm measuring most of my food now.  It cost $20.  There are cheaper ones out there. 

With fruits and vegetables, I eyeball it. Occasionally I weigh it, just to make my eyeballing more accurate in the future. I'm less strict about fruits and veggies since they're low in calories, so if I'm eating a little too much there's not a lot of damage.

I weigh or measure everything else, unless I'm in a hurry. 

I bought a cheap scale (5 euros) and weigh everything.  It sits in the middle of the counter so I can't do anything without seeing it.  There's also a pad of paper and a pen next to it so I can take notes.

For low-calorie foods like vegetables and salads, the difference in calories between a large and small portion is pretty negligible so there's no real need to weigh out portions.  More energy-dense foods like grains, meat and fats need a little more control.  I'd always recommend using scales initially rather than guessing.  Once you've weighed things out a few times you can judge by eye. However, if you don't have scales there are some visual cues.

- Meat/fish.... a 4oz (uncooked) serving is something the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards

- Grains (rice, pasta, breakfast cereals etc.) ... a 4oz cooked serving is about the size of a tennis ball

- Potato.... a 6oz potato is about the size of a computer mouse.

- Vegetables... a 3oz serving is about the size of your fist.

- Fats (oil, margarine, butter).... 1tsp is a serving. 

- Cheese... 1 oz is about the size of a small matchbox
For meat, just ask your butcher to portion it for you.  IE, if you want a pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, tell hime you want 4 breast of as close to 4 oz each.  You can do this with sliced cheese as well.

I use a scale and measuring cup.  If I'm out somehwere, I follow the "deck of cards" rule for meat.  I also have a good idea of what a cup is measured in my hand. 

#7  
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Thanks, I think I'll invest in a scale to learn at first~

I use measuring cups to measure dry grains, and a tablespoon to measure out peanut butter. For fruits and veggies, what I did was trial and error. I diced an apple and measured one cup--then I made a mental note of how large the apple was. Or, you could find a bowl that fits one cup of veggies and use that to portion them.
#9  
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I have lost almost 40 lbs the past year with this tip - I am in sales - so I am not always near a scale & I eat out - but my doctor told me to imagine my cupped hands are the size of my stomach for the denser foods - so I do not over eat - order anything you want - go ahead & separate the portion you are allowed toeat - take the doggie bag

I realize this reply is, like, a month after the fact but... My mom gave me a set of these measuring bowls for Christmas and I've been literally eating out of them for portion control. Each bowl can be used for two measurements; i.e. the largest bowl has a line in it that shows one cup, but if you fill up the whole thing, it's two cups. Obviously, this only works for things that fit in bowls (soups, ice cream, chopped veggies/fruits), but it's helped me get used to visualizing portions since I know how large the bowls are.

Good luck! You'll be great!

http://www.amazon.com/Mario-Batali-5-Piece-Me asuring-Espresso/dp/B000AOFLIC

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