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Blood Sugar Control
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Guide to Predictable Blood Sugars
Weight Control
• Weight and Diabetes
• How is My Weight?
• What Should I Be Eating?
• Diet and Your Weight
• Measuring Tricks of the Trade
• Food Portions Made Easy
• Keeping Food/Exercise Records
• Medical Approaches to Weight Loss
• Weekly Weigh-In Chart
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Carb Counting 101
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Food Portions Made Easy

For many people, determining food portions can be very challenging at times, especially when you find yourself eating away from home frequently. To become a better judge of portion sizes, refer to the table below.

3 ounces of meat = deck of cards
3 ounces of fish = size of a hot dog bun
1 oz. of cheese = 4 stacked dice
½ cup ice cream = 1 racquet ball
1 cup pasta = 1 baseball
1Tbsp. peanut butter or cream cheese = size of three dice
1 oz. nuts = 2 shot glasses full
A medium apple or peach = 1 tennis ball
1 cup fruit = 1 baseball
½ cup rice or mashed potatoes = 1 racquet ball
1 medium potato = the size of a computer mouse

Shortcuts for saving time and making portion sizes more accurate:

  1. Using a standard liquid measuring cup, portion out a 4 oz. serving of liquid into a drinking cup and mark a line with tape or a permanent marker. Repeat this step again, measuring out an 8 oz. portion of liquid. You can use the same glass to do both. This will help to assure more accurate blood glucose readings later on without having to use a measuring cup each time you pour yourself a serving of juice or milk.
  2. If you choose to use measuring tools, be sure to use a liquid measuring cup for liquids and a standard measuring cup (usually plastic or metal) for solid foods. Also, be sure to use actual measuring spoons and not your everyday soup or cereal spoon. A small kitchen scale that weighs in ounces and grams can be purchased inexpensively at many stores and is useful in determining accurate portions of meat, cheese, fruit, and bagels.When you first get started, measure and weigh your foods a lot. Then, check yourself several times a week after that.
  3. For snack items like pretzels or a cereal snack mix or popcorn, pre-portion 1 (15mg carb) serving into individual sealable serving bags. This allows you to stop eating once you have consumed a certain amount and makes carbohydrate counting much easier for that food item.
  4. If you have a heavy hand when measuring out foods like ice cream, cake or other types of snack items, try buying them in individual servings instead.
  5. When eating in a restaurant, ask the waitperson to bring a take-home food container with the meal. When the food arrives, portion half of it in the container for later and eat the remaining portion on your plate. This eliminates the guilt of leaving food on your plate and prevents overeating.