Tag Archives: portion size

Eyes, meet Stomach. Part Duex

The Duex.

I have to finish this post. It haunts me.

I last wrote about how TODs and TTDs should read labels. It was conveniently followed up by my first-ever guest blogger, DrugWatch.com, and their advice about label reading.

I wish I could title this next section Portion Size, but I already did that before so I have to be slightly creative here:

Portion Size Estimation:

BOOM! Minds blown!

Thanks Troll Me for the photo.

That’s enough screwing around for now.

Lettuce get down to business!

Recognizing that you need to eat a certain amount of food, or a portion size, is step one of the better eating/more responsible eating.

The next: recognizing how much 3 ounces of meat is while you’re “oot and aboot” is a total mind mash and on the whole, annoying.

However, if you’ve already spent all that time learning how to read food labels and you’ve memorized how many servings of what you’re supposed to be eating per meal you might as well go the distance.

(Cue Michael Bolton song)

I am going to give you a basic food plan. If it is not completely accurate to your age, weight, and gender… well that’s not my problem. I said basic.

Fruits: on average you need 2 cups of fruit/day

Veggies: on average you need 3 cups of veggies/day

Grains: you need 7-ish ounces of grains/day

Protein: 6-ish ounces/day

Dairy: 3 cups/day

Fat: you get 6 teaspoons/day. Don’t be a jerk.

*Now would be a really great time for a “size matters” joke but I won’t go there today. Insert your own!*

A dietitian could give you a list of what a cup of something looks like, or an ounce, etc. For example, a cup of veggies is roughly the size of a baseball.

Do you regularly carry a baseball around with you? How about a woman’s fist? I am a woman, I do not have woman-sized fists. I have tiny little baby hands that can barely tie my own shoes. This means I wear slip on shoes and will not be getting enough fruit.

So I am re-doing this. For you.

Protein: you should eat 3 ounce portions. Formerly this comparison was a deck of cards. Unless you’re a magician I’m assuming you don’t carry cards around with you.

Look at how big your iPhone, iPod (not nano or shuffle), android cell phone, or compact (if you happen to carry one around) is. THAT IS CLOSE ENOUGH.

So take your meat, hold out your cell phone, and only eat that much. It shouldn’t be thicker than any of those things either. Now eat that twice a day.

Fruits and Veggies: Cup sized portions are recommended but I usually don’t see how many cups of apple are in the apple-shaped apple I’m consuming.

My suggestion for this estimation would be, eat as many veggies or pieces of fruit would fit in a coffee cup. Not the FRIENDS-sized coffee cups that have become so popular, but a standard coffee cup.

Eat two coffee cups full of fruit and three full of veggies per day.

Grains: Grains are kind of tough. For example, an ounce of grain is one piece of bread. So if you feel like knocking this one out with minimal effort, eat 7 pieces of wheat bread in the morning and call it.

If you like rice, you have to go by cups. A cup of rice is hard to guesstimate but you could pretty safely say that if you’re eating enough rice that fills the bowl made by your hands when you put them together (cooked) that it’s a little more than a cup. This is also 2 ounces of grain.

Pancakes and waffles are a great way to get grains in the morning if you don’t want to just eat your 7 pieces of toast. BUT, if the pancake is AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD, it’s too big. If it’s as big as half your head, that’s a serving.

Dairy: If you’re going the milk route this should be a no-brainer. You need 3 cups of dairy so drink three 8 ounce cups of milk and quit. If you need to know how many 8 ounces are, look at a normal sized glass.

If you like yogurt, eat one container per serving.

If you like cheese… well, think of a Kraft Single. That amount of cheese is a half of serving of dairy.

If you have a piece of cheese or pieces of cheese that collectively make up the size of your cell phone (thickness too) that’s a serving.

Ice cream always bites me in the butt. As much ice cream as you can fit in a tea cup, TEA CUP, is a serving. That does not seem like enough and  I think MOST people don’t usually eat just that amount.

Oil: Estimating a teaspoon can be easy because let’s face it, teaspoons are
pretty common.

If you don’t have one, a teaspoon of butter is a pat of butter. One tiny little pre-wrapped pat.  You only get 6 per day, choose wisely.

Chances are you don’t need to add any fat/oil to your diet because you’re getting enough in the processed cheeses, ice creams and Taco Bell that you eat daily.

Hopefully this will help you when you’re eating out or lazy and at home.

I also take requests in the form of comments. Any foods you’d like help estimating?



Filed under How to: get diabetes.

Eyes, meet Stomach.

“You’ve enjoyed all the power you’ve been given, haven’t you? I wonder how you’d take to working in a pocket calculator…”

You, as a TOD have been given the power to control your metabolism. As a TTD, sadly, you’re up a creek sans paddle.

I’ve said before, that if I gave advice I’d try my best to help you follow that advice so here goes:

Portion Size.

Them is fightin’ words in some parts of the US. (Here’s looking at you, Wisconsin… and the South)

Regardless, portion size and portion control are important for any and all types of diabetics.

Over the years America’s portion sizes have grown out of control. Well most have grown and some, like vegetable portions, have shrunk. Some people call it portion distortion.

Now, I tend to shy away from eating foods that aren’t pre-packaged and drinking milk that doesn’t come in a carton because I never remember how to estimate how much half a cup of something is when I’m out at a restaurant or at a friend’s house or I just don’t care.


Let’s talk portion control. (Talking about this stuff always makes me want a cheeseburger)

I digress.

If you are a TTD and need a simple way to figure out how much food you should be eating, well welcome to diabetiquette!

There is a very easy trick any dietitian will tell you about if you ask them nicely. Or even if you don’t and they just catch you eating cake for lunch.

Preferably you eat off of a round plate, preferably your math skills aren’t sub par, and preferably you also know what vegetables, proteins, and starches mean.

We can tackle this one problem at a time.

No round plate? No problem! Fractions and percentages work with ANY geometric shape.

Bad math skills? Well, just don’t think of it as math. You need roughly half of your dinner plate to be veggies. That’s easy. Break the plate in half and put vegetables on it… just watch the ceramic shards afterwards. If it’s too tricky to find the 30% and 20% of your plate, just do 25%’s (that’s 50% cut in half!)

Don’t know what veggies, proteins, and starches are?

Well, you can buy a book that will tell you what each food you’re eating IS, or you can guesstimate. For instance, vegetables are typically crisp when you bite them, have leafy parts,

and/or can be found in the vegetable section of the grocery store.

Proteins are meats. People eat a lot of meat in this country. This is not necessarily good for the economy of OTHER countries, but that’s besides the point. You do NOT need to eat a meal entirely comprised of meat or some meat byproduct. What you do need is roughly a quarter of your plate to be protein related.

Technically, almost all foods have protein in them, but to simplify your life. We are doing this:

Starches are trickier if you aren’t familiar with foods and haven’t been beaten to mental death by a nutritionist. Some people think of starches as carb-y things. Actually, after typing that, THAT’S how I want you to look at starches. Basically, anything that tastes sweet (or fulfilling) when you eat it, has carbohydrates in it.

Please keep in mind that is a VERY very basic way of describing starches and carbs and is just a “rule of thumb” and not actual science. Starches are foods like potatoes, corn, breads, pastas, and other grainy type foods.

These foods need to take up only a quarter of your plate each meal. 25% or half of the half of your plate that’s not being taken up by veggies.

You also need fruits and stuff too, but that’s going to complicate our plate…


If you’re a TOD and a carb counter (which you have to be to know how much insulin to take) you need to be able to estimate how many ounces or servings you’re eating.

That brings me to another point. Servings.

You can look at your bag of potato chips and see that it’s 15 carbs. Well yes, it’s 15 carbs in one serving.

But, then you have to look at how many pieces make a serving and how many servings are in the entire bag:








So, you eat the whole bag, you should be taking insulin for 120 carbs, NOT the 15 that it appears to be in the serving size. And WOOFTY that’s a big difference when it comes to blood sugar levels. I have learned this the hard way.

Editor’s Note: I feel this post is becoming extremely long and long-winded. Therefore, I will be breaking it up into TWO posts! That’s right, two for the price of, well nothing as these posts are free.


Filed under How to: get diabetes.