No one wants to gain 10# at the end of one year?  But in order for the weight to ‘creep’ on, all you have to do is eat 100 extra calories per day.  If you want to lose 20# at the end of one year?  Then eat 200 less calories daily.  Healthful living involves nutrition education not just on WHAT you eat, you must also become more aware of HOW MUCH you eat!

The next time you pour yourself a bowl of cereal, STOP before you pour the milk on.  Get out a measuring cup and see how much your ‘typical pour’ is?  Is it ¾ cup or is it 2½ cups?  Most cereals call for about a cup – about the size of a tennis ball.  For meat, you want about 3 oz/meal – about the size of a deck of cards.  Portion size makes a big difference when you are adding up the calories per serving.  Especially when you discover that you are eating 4 or 5 servings … according to the label.

We all eat in food ruts. We eat the same foods every week to ten days. So take the time, (just once or twice) to check the true quantity you are eating.  Then do the math! It’s a great idea to write down what you eat in any given day in order to figure out how many calories you are eating.  Can you shave 100 calories from each meal by eating a smaller portion?  If you saved 300 calories a day you could lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and lose 30# in just one year without too much effort!

Here are some tips:

  • Use smaller plates and cups
  • Read Nutrition Facts Labels
  • Order small or a la carte
  • Beware of big baked goods
  • Share large entrees
  • Don’t eat out of the bag
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV
  • Eat before you go out


The difference between a smaller portion and a super-sized portion could be much more than you realize.  For example:

Large                                      Small

French fries                                         570                                          250

Burger                                                    730                                          260

Soda                                                        310                                          150

Cookie                                                    470                                          110

Ice cream                                             560                                          230

Totals                                                  2,640                                       1,000

Awareness is key!  Becoming more aware of common portion sizes is a good idea, especially if you have never paid attention in the past to how much you are really eating!