Portions vs. Serving Size

Portions vs. Serving Size

There’s nothing like setting out to eat healthier only to have the wind taken out of your sails because of a confusing principle, such as eating proper portion sizes for your body. Have you ever wondered if portion sizes are the same thing as serving sizes? 

In this article from the American Heart Association, they share:

  • Portion is how much food you choose to eat at one time, whether in a restaurant, from a package or in your own kitchen. A portion is 100 percent under our control. Many foods that come as a single portion actually contain multiple servings.
  • Serving Size is the amount of food listed on a product’s Nutrition Facts label. So all of the nutritional values you see on the label are for the serving size the manufacturer suggests on the package.
    Once we understand the difference, it’s easier to determine how much to serve and easier to teach kids the difference between the two. Learn some suggested servings from each food groups you and your kids can eat at mealtime or between meals.

The article goes on to share several practical tips on being mindful of the portion sizes you consume. One of the first tips that comes to my mind related to eating at home is to consider the size of your plates, bowls, and cups. It’s not only your eyes that can be bigger than your stomach, so being mindful when serving yourself inside the pretty border of your plate, can be very helpful. Same goes with pouring a glass of whatever. If your cups are large, it’s easy to drink several portions at a time.

Also keep in mind the serving size on the nutrition facts label is an important tidbit of information, especially when you’re comparing two similar products to determine which is a better fit for you. You want to be comparing ½ cup of one granola to ½ cup of another to make it an apples to apples comparison. Speaking of confusing principles, has reading a nutrition facts label ever stumped you? This article shares more on portion vs. serving sizes, plus a video about reading a nutrition facts label.

Below you’ll find a couple of infographics providing a visual to guide you with more accurate portion sizes when you don’t have a set of measuring cups handy. Remember adequate portion sizes per food group vary person to person because of height, weight, age, activity level, and nutrition goals overall. Some of the portion sizes will also make you think twice the next time you think snacking out of a bag or box will be quick while you’re working on a computer or watching a show. Just don’t do it. Pour some out onto a napkin or in a bowl and you’ll save yourself a moment of wondering, “Did I just finish that whole bag?”

Workout/Exercise Spotlight: Basic Movement Patterns

Fundamental movement patterns should be the building blocks of every program for every client, at every level. Here is Sarah’s ranking of importance and value:

1. Hip hinge (deadlift, swing)

2. Core stability (anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion, anti-rotation, anti-flexion)

3. Horizontal pull (row)

4. Knee-dominant (squat, lunge)

5. Rotation (chops, throws)

6. Gait (walk, run, sprint, crawl)

7. Vertical pull (pulldown, pull-up)

8. Vertical push (overhead press)

9. Horizontal push (push-up, chest press)

10. Integrated movement (squat to press, single-leg Romanian deadlift to row)

The Core Add-on

This week’s daily add-on exercise is a Side Plank – 30 seconds each side. That brings us to:

10 plank toe taps

10 cobra pose reps

30 sec side plank each side

By: Victoria Emmitt RD

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