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Portion vs. Serving Size

Can Make a Big Difference in Your Weight...

A portion size of food or drink is the amount you choose to eat for a meal or snack. 

A serving size of food is a specific measured amount, such as 1 cup of cereal, or 1 cup of milk.  When you read nutrition labels, the nutrition content of the food is based on a serving size. 

You must be careful to read the serving size for each food item, because there is often more than one serving in a package.  If the package has 3 servings, and you eat the whole package, you must multiply the nutrition information X 3.  That would be your portion. 

If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, it is important to know how much you are eating.  Keep a food journal and keep track of your portion sizes by weighing and measuring your foods.  It will not feel like you are doing extra work if you try to use:

  • Measuring cups as serving utensils
  • Cups that are 4-8 ounces to estimate fluids, such as milk or juice 
  • Plates that are 8-9” in diameter and do not over fill
  • Foods high in fiber to help you feel full longer. 

Food portions have greatly increased in the past twenty to thirty years, and so have our waistlines!  Learn actual serving sizes and try to stay closer to that amount.  If you can decrease your portion sizes, you will decrease your weight!

White Chicken Chili - Recipe from Food.com
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth (use low sodium for less salt)
  • 3 (16 ounce) cans great northern beans, with liquid
  • 2 cups chopped white onions
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, in a jar
  • 2 teaspoons canola or olive oil 
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, with liquid
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • hot sauce (to taste)
  1. In a large pot, saute onions about 5 minutes in olive oil.
  2. Add garlic, chilies, broth and beans. Stir.
  3. Add chicken, stir in remaining spices and hot sauce.
  4. Heat to a boil and simmer 1 hour before serving.Can be made on the stove or in a crockpot.
  5. If you want a thicker chili, use a food blender to puree 1-2 cups of the chili.  Add it back to the pot with the rest of the chili and it will have a thicker consistency. 
  6. Serve with baked tortilla chips. 
Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

  • Calories 180
  • Calories from Fat 35
  • Total Fat 4g
    • Saturated Fat 0.5g
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 40mg
  • Sodium 180mg
  • Potassium 870mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 20g
    • Dietary Fiber 6g
    • Sugars 7g
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