Weight Watchers sent the following suggestions for gauging portion sizes when dining away from home.
“Keep in mind that dining out is a challenge that requires a special mindset as well as knowledge of portion size. Sometimes just being in a restaurant or at someone else’s home can promote a “special occasion” feeling that makes it tough to stick to healthy portions. ”
Strategies for portion control
Restaurant portion sizes have expanded immensely – often to two or three times what they used to be. Friends and family may fill a plate out of generosity. But combined with a “clean-your-plate” mentality, this can spell trouble. The following strategies will help you keep control.
Divide your meal in half. As soon as the plate is set in front of you, ask your server to wrap up the other half to take home. Doing this right away helps you avoid the temptation of eating too much just because it’s there. We suggest the same thing in number 4 on our Remember This page. Also check out Number 10 for vivid examples of Portion Distortion.
Consider ordering from the appetizer or kids menu. Portions are almost always smaller. Also, restaurants will often make half portions or lunch-sized portions at dinner time, if asked.
Use your hand to measure the actual amount of food on your plate. Here’s how:
Your fist is equal to one medium fruit or one measured cup.
Your palm minus the fingers is a 3 ounce portion of cooked meat
Your thumb (whole thumb, from tip to base) is equal to one ounce of meat or cheese
Your thumb from the tip to the first joint is about 1 tablespoon
Your index finger from the tip to the first joint is about 1 teaspoon
The battle for control of your weight never ends. Paying attention to portion size is a major weapon. Use it often.