homemaking hack #7: how to measure portions easily

I may say this every time I post a homemaking hack, but I can't believe it took me so long to think of these two! :) I use these two tricks every day now and they both work for me and save me time and lots of calories in the kitchen! :)

These hacks have changed the way I see and estimate portion sizes, especially when it comes to things I love to eat {and overeat!} in bowls like soup, beans, watermelon, yogurt, oatmeal, and cereal.

Here are two easy ways to keep an eye on your portion sizes:

1. Use thin metal measuring cups to cut and scoop out your foods. 
Of course using measuring cups always makes sense for portioning out foods, but I never considered using them as a scooping and measuring tool for my favorite melon fruits at the same time! :)


I don't weigh or specifically measure my food portions out normally, but one day I was trying to get an idea of how much watermelon I was actually eating {it felt like several servings at one time!}, so I decided to use my metal cup to cut and scoop out my watermelon. I was shocked it was so easy to cut with a measuring cup! 

And even better than that shocking discovery {ha}, for the first time in history, I actually overestimated how much I was eating- the calories in my average bowl full of watermelon were far less than I thought! {Does that EVER happen? not to me! yay!}

So these days, when I don't use my metal cup scooping method for watermelon and everything else I want to portion out- I use option two- which is:

2. Pre-measure the capacity of your favorite bowls for easy portion estimation {and use the same bowl for everything!}.


My anthro bowl is 2 cups exactly from what I can tell- so I know if it's 1/2 full of dry cereal, I am eating more than 1.33 servings of my favorite Honey Bunches of Oats. {and who could ever just eat 3/4 of a cup for one serving?? That makes me sad.} 

Or if I am eating a bowl of oatmeal or greek yogurt in the anthro bowl, I know if I fill it up, that's 2 or more servings I'm eating at one time! {that's why I stick to my 1/2 cup bowls for ice cream and sweets- if I put them in a 2 cup bowl my brain feels deprived- but a packed 1/2 cup? I have to use a baby spoon then, and it's like eating gelato at the mall- special and filling! :D It's all in the mind!}


So the moral of option 2 is this: if you're trying to get an idea of how much you're eating- keep an eye on your dish size at home! It works for me! :D


What are your favorite tricks for measuring food portions? Please share!

Do you stick to portion sizes? Or is eating more of a "how hungry am I right now?" thing for you? 
I'm an option 2 girl by nature- especially when it comes to sweets! I still eat as much as I want when it comes to natural fruits and veggies, but I cut back majorly on ice cream, yogurt, and dessert portions a few years ago, around 25 or so. The older I get, the more processed things seem to affect me negatively! :D Back when I was a teenager I could eat 1/2 of a huge bag of M&M's and Taco Bell and not feel a thing! :) Ah, the days!!

Do you pre-cut your watermelon or keep it in the rind?
I find it tastes so much better straight from the source! I keep the whole melon in the fridge to scoop out servings as needed! :)

3 comments

Sophie from France said...

I used dessert plates: it seems to have a huge portion of food in and finally it gives a normal portion! I did not do it to measure food, but because my table was too small for 8 normal plates!!
I agree with you, if I eat bad (too fat, too much sugar etc ...) I am not well, and I'm in a bad mood, very irritable!So...i try to eat healthier!

Lesley said...

that's a great idea. I really like the second tip, a lot :)

btw, I didn't think watermelon had that many calories?! I thought it was mostly water content. I always just eat as much as I feel like haha

JennyBC said...

Oh, I can tell how much younger you are than me! Ha! I am a portion girl now. I started weight watchers this year and have lost 25 pounds...just a little bit more to go. I am 51 and I have come to the conclusion (I can't decide if I am sad about it or not) that I have to watch my portions AND exercise to keep my weight off. I can no longer do one or the other! When I started this year, I would have told you that for the most part, I am a very healthy eater. What I was not though, was a healthy portion eater. When I started measuring my yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, rice, nuts, etc, I found I was eating far more than a serving. I was usually eating 2 - 2 1/2 servings. Cutting back and eating a real portion has been huge! I also found that I slowed my eating down a great deal in an effort to make those smaller portions last longer. By doing that one thing alone, I have found I am controlling my calorie intake significantly. I now measure my meat portions as well. I have never been a big meat eater but I am finding even those portions are smaller now too. I've gotten used to it now so it's not hard anymore. I have measured my bowls too but I love tip 7a. I'll be doing that especially with summer melons!