5 Ways to be Weight Wise

Summertime is filled with lots of occasions to eat – graduations, weddings, vacations, and family reunions.  Weight gain occurs when more calories are consumed than burned. Here are 5 ways to take control and be “wise” with your weight this summer!






Be size wise! Watch portion sizes; they keep increasing, and extra calories add up quickly when portions creep in size! The size of a “serving” varies, depending on the food group. Try using these common items as a guide – 

    • ¼ cup = size of a golf ball
    • ½ cup = size of a yo-yo
    • 1 cup = size of a tennis ball, 1 oz meat = size of a ping pong ball
    • 3 oz of meat = the size of a deck of cards

Fruit – 1 portion of fruit is equal to:

  • 1 cup fresh fruit
  • ½ cup canned fruit
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice

Vegetables – 1 portion of vegetables is equal to:

  • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
  • 1 cup raw vegetables
  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • ½ cup vegetable juice
  • ½ cup mashed potatoes, corn, or peas

Breads – 1 portion of bread is equal to:

  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 1 corn tortilla
  • 1 pancake
  • 1 waffle
  • ½ small bagel
  • ½ English muffin
  • 1 cup ready to eat cereal
  • ½ cup cooked cereal or cooked pasta
  • ½ cup rice

Meat – 1 portion of meat is equal to:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 oz meat, fish, or poultry
  • 1/4 cup beans, lentils, or legumes




Milk – 1 portion of milk is equal to:

  • 1 cup milk or yogurt
  • 1 oz hard cheese
  • 2 oz processed cheese
  • ½ cup ice cream or pudding
  • Be color wise! Increase the variety of colors in your diet by eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies every day. Aim for 5 servings of fruits and veggies. Eat the whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice to increase fiber intake. Sneak a serving of vegetables into your morning by adding bell peppers and onion to your scrambled eggs or drinking a cup of 100% vegetable juice. Puree vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots and add to marinara sauce. Include a salad with dark leafy greens at lunch or dinner. Prepare vegetable sticks and keep them in the fridge for easy snacking. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter for healthy snacks on the run or even dessert.
  • Be label wise! Check out the nutrition facts panel on foods. Keep tabs on added fat and sugar as these add more calories. Select foods with less than 3 grams of fat per serving and less than 50% of the total carbohydrates coming from sugar.
  • Be fiber wise! Again, read the food label and try to select foods with more than 2 grams of fiber per serving. When able, choose whole grain foods such as whole wheat, oats, rye, barley, or brown rice. Eat fruits, vegetables, dried beans, peas, flax seeds, and nuts. Fiber helps create a feeling of fullness and well as promotes bowel regularity. To minimize discomfort with the addition of fiber to the diet, increase it slowly while increasing fluids as well.
  • Be beverage wise! Calories from beverages can add up quickly, and they usually provide minimal nutrition. Water is the best option, but calorie-free beverages such as sugar-free kool-aid, crystal light, or diet soda can replace high calorie beverages. Fruit juice should be limited to no more than 4 oz per day, 100% juice only.

By Colleen E. Parks, MS, RD, LD

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