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Try Portion Control First

Updated on May 4, 2013

Getting a Garden Started will help!

About Portion Control and Measurement

A simple diet is portion control. Why? No need to compute calories, no worry about Carbs, just need to measure the portions you eat at home and when out, eat only ½ of what is served then push away from the table. Of course,you need to eat Balanced and Healthy Foods regardless of the diet you choose and remember to exercise also, but you have less stress if you learn how to use portion control; and, stress leads to other types of health issues. So why not give portion control a try?

What is a portion?

A serving isn't what you happen to put on your plate, it is a measured amount. A portion serving is a specific amount of food defined by measurement like, a tablespoon, a cup, a gallon, a pint, or etc. Note Measurement chart below. The portion you receive in an eating establishment is whatever they put on their large or small plates. The measured amount is not the same as the "general" amount you get when eating out. A measured pancake serving is 4 inches. A portion you might eat can be 6-7 inches. You are getting more than one serving at a time. A portion serving of milk is 8 ounces, but what you get might be twice that amount according to the size of the glass you use, or less if the glass is smaller. Without realizing it, you may be over doing your portions. You need to establish a portion control guideline and learn to be a judge of serving sizes to take charge of your diet.

Measurements using standard measuring spoons and cups. Discovering what portions are can be fun, measurement containers are frequently used for children playing in a sand box, Measuring is not stressful. As you play with food products measuring them, you will begin to recognize what a portion looks like and be able to spot what it should be.Then, it will be easier for you to push away from the double and triple portions being served. Wow was I shocked the first time I had an order brought to me at the "Black Eye Pea." It was hugh! Great for those who can eat a "hearty meal" but I took home a doggy bag and had enough meat leftover from one of their servings to last for a weeks worth of lunches.

A pinch = 1/8 teaspoon (tsp) or less

3 tsp = 1 tablespoon (tbsp)

4 tbsp = ¼ cup

8 tbsp = ½ cup

12 tbsp = ¾ cup

16 tbsp = 1 cup

2 cups = 1 pint

4 cups = 1 quart (qt)

4 qt = 1 gallon

8 qt = 1 peck

4 pecks = 1 bushel

16 ounces (oz) = 1 pound (lb)

32 oz = 1 qt

8 oz liquid = 1 qt

1 oz liquid = 2 tbsp

Other Diet Tips

Drink cold water when you are hungry to postpone eating or eliminate snacking urges.

Combine Diet Plans

If you want to use two diet types together, Counting Calories and Portion Control work well together. If you watch your portion and then consume 500-1000 calories less than your daily energy requirement you will loose 1.5 pounds a day. Compute your daily energy requirement (basal metabolic rate) plus input your activity level, you can find out what your total daily energy expenditure and calories needed daily for free at: Eat the reommended calories then push away from the table.

Make a Diet Journal

It is always a good idea to keep a dieting journal when you first start out on any diet. This type of journal is something like a shopping list to plan your weeks menus and snacks. If you figure what you intend to eat every week in advance, you can make sure that you make wise eating choices. Eat what is on your list and only the portions of food that you require, then push away from the table. Make sure to include some healthy snacks on your list to help stop binge eating, and that hungry feeling when you pass by those foods you love to eat, that you shouldn't.

American Medical Daily Food Allowance Recommendation:

Milk - Teen - 4 cups daily, Adult - 2 cups daily, Pregnant female - 4 cups daily

Vegetables/Fruit - 4 servings daily

Meat -2 servings daily

Bread - 4 servings daily

Boys and girls need to eat 2400 calories a day.

Adults should eat 30 calories of food a day for each pound of their current weight to maintain their weight, then push away from the table.

Calorie Computation

If you are trying two types of diet and plan to use calorie counting with Portion Control, you will need to learn how to compute your desired weight calorie allowance.

Desired weight multiplied by 11 if you are a woman. So, if you want to weigh 150lbs, multiply 150 x 11= 1650 calories you can eat daily.

Desired weight multiplied by 12 if you are a man. Therefore, if you want to weigh 189lbs, multiply 189 x 12=2268 calories you can eat daily.

Fat Computation

You will also need to learn about "good Fat" and how to stay away from "bad fat."

There are 9 calories in one gram of fat. Medical professionals state only 30% of our calories should be in “good Fat” Multiply your calorie goal by 0.3 or 30% and divide by nine (9). There are 9 calories in one gram of fat. Count your fat intake requirements then, whenever possible choose low fat / lean meats and low fat / low sugar side dishes.

Nutritive Value of Food

Once you have determined the amount of daily calories you can eat and how much "good fat" you can consume, Check out the nutrition of food products.

The Nutritive Value of Food in the Home & Garden bulletin no. 72. It contains 1,274 foods with their nutritional values. Make healthy choices in your food selection. Don't forget you need to exercise! The free charts are available at:

In conclusion

All diet plans require some thought, planning, and some notes and learning. Be sure to consult with your doctor to see how much you should weight for your "body type." You can have a diet plan to maintain your current weight or to loose weight. And, Portion Control alone will help some and not others. Diets need to fit your individual lifestyle because dieting not a one size fits all plan. Portion Control ia a good way to start. Why? Because it is simple and does not interfere with other dieting plans.No matter what plan you choose, you need to learn about balanced foods, eat a variety of "healthy" foods listed in the "Essential Food Groups."  Portion Control is visual. Once you see what a portion is, you can start your diet. Also, Portion Control is a simple process and it is easier to use Portion Control in conjunction with other diet formats. You can add an "Exercise program," or add "Calorie Counting" to portion control, or add both. Portion Control stands alone but if you add Calorie Counting you have the majority basis of most of the diets currently in use. Adding an exercise routine, even 30 minutes a day of walking, and you have the a "Complete" diet plan most medical professionals would approve of. But start off with Portion Control. It is a good basis for most diets..  

Helpful Cooking Information..

Helpful Food Tips:

Reheating refrigerated bread - Place biscuits, pancakes or muffins that were in the fridge in the microwave with a glass of water. The moisture will keep the food moist.

Eating a salad or soup before your meal will make you less hungry.

Drinking ice-cold water helps. In order to process the water your body must raise the temperature of the water to use it and you burn calories.

Eat smart snacks between meals. Whether it is hot or cold these easy snacks will hit the spot: Dried Fruit Raisins, berries, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, prunes, trail mix, pretzels, crackers with cheese or peanut butter, bananas with or without peanut butter, dry cereal (Cheerios, Shredded wheat), and yogurt

It you are seeking extra flavor, Add:

· •1 tsp. of curry paste or gourmet mustard to salad dressing

beans & grains.

· • Balsamic & Wine vinegar on steamed Broccoli or

Brussels sprouts.

· • Dill or Cilantro to salad dressing.

· • Fresh parsley to soup, salads.

· • Hot sauce to casseroles, stews or soup.

· • Watercress into salads & sandwiches

· •1 Tbsp raw unprocessed honey to nightly cup of tea.

(Helps calm stomach also).

· • 6-8 drops of Peppermint to tea

· • 30 ml of tincture of myrrh to tea

· • 15 drops of Fennel to tea

Other Cooking Tips

Making breadcrumbs instead of buying crumbs is cost effective. Using day old bread, cut off the crust and tear the bread into pieces. Put them into a blender and using the pulsing action of the blender.

Do not toss out the skin or bones from your cooked chicken or turkey. Instead, place them into a freezer safe bag and put them in the freezer to use later. When your recipe calls for stock take out the frozen skin and bones and add water, boil and reduce heat to simmer. Now you have stock seasoned your way.

Place stuffing into a plastic bag and cut a hole the size of the opening. Then gently squeeze the stuffing into the pasta, cake or meat.

What is a good substitute for eggs?

•2 Tbsp. Corn starch = 1 egg

•2 Tbsp. Arrowroot flour = 1 egg

•2 Tbsp. Potato starch = 1 egg

•1 heaping tbsp. Soy powder plus 2 Tbsp water = 1 egg

•1 Tbsp. Soy milk powder plus 1 Tbsp Cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. Water = 1 egg

•1 banana - 1 egg in cakes

•Ener-G Egg Replacer - follow directions on the box = 1 egg

Seasonal Food Recipe Ideas

Waistline-Watchers’ Salad

Courtesy of Good Seasons Fresh Salad Ideas


1 small head of cabbage finely shredded

1 small bunch of watercress

1 lg sweet apple, chopped but not peeled

6 finely sliced radishes

1/3 cup prepared Good Seasons Low Calorie Italian Salad Dressing


Add ingredients and toss salad in bowl. Top with dressing and serve. Serves 8

Passover Bread


6 eggs (try egg substitutes above)

2 1/4 cups matzo meal

2 cups sugar

3/4-potato starch

1 cup sliced almonds

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/2-cup butter Crisco

2 loaf pans

1 cup chocolate chips

Cooling rack

Wooden pick



Non-stick spray

Wax paper

Butter knife


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients in blender. Remove dough from blender and put onto Wax paper. Roll dough into loaf shapes using the wax paper. Bring out loaf pans and spray with non-stick spray. Cut loafs in half and put each loaf into a loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until wooden pick can be inserted and come out clean. Empty cooked onto cooling rack to cool. When you are ready to eat, Cut into slices and put in toaster to warm.

Melt in your Mouth Orange Bran Flax Muffin

Courtesy of Flax Council of Canada and Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission


1 ½ cup oat bran

1-cup brown sugar

1-cup evaporated milk

1-cup flour

2 eggs

½ cup olive oil

1-cup wheat bran

1-cup ground flax seed

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1-½ cup golden raisins

2 oranges peeled, cut in chucks large bowl

Pam non-stick cooking spray

2 muffin trays


Combine dry ingredients except brown sugar and set aside Combine remaining ingredients except raisins in blender. Pour blender mix into bowl with dry ingredients and mix. Add raisins and stir. Pour batter into greased muffin tray or use cupcake paper wrappers without spray. Bake 18 to 20 minutes in oven at 375 or until done. Cool and serve. Each muffin is 186 calories, 4 g pro, 30 g carb, 8 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 18 mg chol, 3 gr fiber, 140 mg sodium and 4 g flaxseed. These muffins are refuted to help “defeat breast cancer” with the healing power of flax.

Fruit Pizza


1-cup orange juice

Pizza pan

2-Tbsp.corn starch


20 oz tub Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough

1- 1/6-cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

8 oz. Soft cream cheese

Small saucepan

Cookie sheet

Mixing bowl


Non-stick spray

1 can of Fruit Cocktail or, cubed fruit of choice


Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Mix orange juice, cornstarch and 2/3 cup Sugar in small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil for one minute then set aside to cool. Spray pizza pan with non-stick spray. Open cookie dough and press dough in pizza pan. Bake dough for 12 minutes then take out and cool. Put cream cheese, 1/2-cup sugar and Vanilla into mixing bowl and mix together with spoon. Scoop out mixture on top of Dough. Open can of fruit cocktail and drain the juice. Add pieces of fruit from Fruit Cocktail on top and place in the refrigerator to chill. Pour orange juice glaze on top. Chill at least one hour before serving.

Easy Cabbage Salad


2 lbs green cabbage

1 tsp lemon juice

1 medium onion, sliced

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup Best Foods Mayo

1 tbsp Mayo

2 cups cottage cheese - small curd

1/2 tsp pepper

Serving bowl


Remove outer leaves of cabbage and chop thinly. Place in serving bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Chill up to two hours before serving. Remove salad and place onto individual dishes and let it stand in room temperature about 15 minutes then eat.

Easy Fruit Salad


1 lg watermelon (15lbs)

2 cantaloupe melons

1/2 c. sugar

2 honeydew melons

1/2 c. limejuice

1/4 c. Lemon juice

2 tsp. Grated lime peel

3 c. strawberries

2 c. seedless grapes

2 Tbsp. Orange Liqueur (optional)


Wash the fruit and slice grapes & strawberries in half. Use a small ice cream scoop to make round pieces of the melon. Carve the Basket: Place melon on carving board. Use a water-soluble marker to outline the shape of a basket. Make sure the handle is at least 1 1/4 inches thick. Use a sharp knife and cut along the marker line. Remove excess rind. Scoop out watermelon. Use a vegetable peeler to make scalloped edges. Cover watermelon basket with plastic wrap and place in fridge. Place all fruit into a large bowl with airtight cover. Combine sugar, juice, liqueur and lime peel in a mixing bowl and stir. Pour over the melon mixture, cover and put in the fridge at least 30 minutes to chill. Better to chill overnight.

Portion Control is the Answer


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