Guess-timate Your Portion Size
Restaurant food portions are often gigantic. What's a dieter to do? Learn how to visualise portion sizes that won't bust your PointsPlus® budget.
These days, it's no secret that restaurants are drawing in customers with oversize entrées and towering desserts. Two-and-a-half-pound deli sandwiches and six-cup bowls of spaghetti seem practically the norm. How can you figure out "normal" portion sizes and avoid eating enough for a family of four?
Use the following guidelines to help determine the size of meals at your favourite restaurants, and take the quiz at the end to see how well you can guess the size of your favourite restaurant treats.
At an Italian restaurant
Figuring out whether the standard serving of one cup of pasta lies under all that sauce can be tricky, especially when most restaurant portions are more than three times that amount. A portion the size of an average fist
is the equivalent of 1 cup of pasta.
At the steakhouse
Since most steakhouses serve you more meat than you can wrangle up in one meal, setting aside leftovers should not be that tricky. A piece the size of your thumb
(from tip to base) equals an ounce, while a three-ounce portion is the size of a palm
(minus the fingers). A deck of cards is another good "visual equivalent" of three ounces of meat.
At the bar
Nuts and pretzels go down mighty easy while the wine and conversation are flowing. Keep track of your consumption by remembering that a small cupped hand
is the equivalent of approximately one ounce, and a large cupped hand
equals two ounces.
At the Chinese restaurant
Steamed white rice is a perfect accompaniment to a Chinese meal. To determine a one-cup portion of rice, think of a small baseball
At the fish restaurant
Since fish is thinner than steak, it may be harder to determine the number of ounces in a portion. Think of your checkbook
to size up three ounces of thin fish.
What's Your Portion-Size IQ?
|Keeping Track: Use Your Hand for Portion Sizes
|Fist = 1 cup or 1 medium fruit
Thumb (tip to base) = 1 ounce meat or cheese
Thumb tip (tip to 1st joint) = 1 tbsp
Fingertip (tip to 1st joint) = 1 tsp
Index finger (1st to 2nd joint) = 1 inch
Cupped hand = 1-2 ounces of nuts of pretzels
Palm (minus fingers) = 3 ounces of meat, fish or poultry
Most restaurants serve far larger portions than the standard serving size. Test your knowledge of "portion distortion" with this quick quiz, which compares sizes and PointsPlus
for standard servings and typical restaurant servings of similar foods.
How many ounces and PointsPlus®
values are in the following food products?
Q: A standard serving of soda?
A: 12 oz and 4 PointsPlus
Q: A Coca-Cola Classic King soda from Burger King?
A: 30 oz, 8 PointsPlus
Q: A standard-size chocolate chip cookie?
A: 2/3 oz, 2 PointsPlus
Q: A Mrs. Fields White Chunk Macadamia Nut cookie?
A: 2 1/3 oz, 8 PointsPlus
Q: A standard portion of cooked steak?
A: 3 oz, 5 PointsPlus
Q: Denny's Sirloin Steak Dinner?
A: 8 oz, 9 PointsPlus
Q: A standard plain bagel?
A: 2 oz, 4 PointsPlus
Q: Bruegger's Blueberry Bagel?
A: 4 1/3 oz, 8 PointsPlus
Back to Restaurant Guide