Serving Size Secrets, Tips, and Hockey Pucks?
Diane Griffith, HealthAtoZ Writer
You may think that glass of juice you're drinking contains only 100 calories. After all, that's what the calorie guide tells you. But do you know exactly what a serving size is? If you're drinking that juice from the super-sized Mickey Mouse® mug you picked up in Disney World, you're in for a big surprise.
Misjudging serving sizes is a common mistake. No matter how closely you watch your intake of calories, carbs and fats, if you aren't correctly watching your serving sizes, your diet may not be working for you.
There's an easy way to remember serving sizes if you don't have a guide readily available. Think games; specifically hockey, tennis and playing cards. A serving size is equivalent to the size of a hockey puck, a tennis ball or a deck of cards. For instance, a small apple (the size of a tennis ball) equals one serving from the fruit and vegetable group; a bagel (the size of a hockey puck) equals one serving from the bread group; and 3 ounces of chicken (about the size of a deck of cards) equals one serving of protein.
If the hockey puck/tennis ball/deck of cards analogy just doesn't work for you, you can also use the guide below to help you determine just what a serving size consists of:
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 ounce (by weight) of ready-to-eat cereal
- 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta
- 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables
- 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or raw
- 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
- 1 medium apple, banana or orange
- 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit
- 3/4 cup of fruit juice
- 1 cup of milk or yogurt
- 11/2 ounces of natural cheese
Meat and Beans group
- 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish
- 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
- 1/3 cup of nuts