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Use These Visual Cues to Keep Portions in Control

With restaurant portions getting bigger with every passing year, it can be challenging to know how much is too much when you’re dining out. For example: a typical “single” meal at your favorite chain restaurant may actually contain 2–4 servings!

That’s part of why Jenny Craig members are so successful—every one of our delicious pre-packaged meals and snacks are nutritionally balanced and perfectly portioned to help you lose weight at a healthy pace. Learn to use the same visual portion cues when you’re dining out, and you’re more likely to make healthy weight loss a habit. Start by memorizing this handy chart:

THIS MEASUREMENT:EQUALS THIS MUCH FOOD:
1 tsp of margarinequarter
1 tbsp salad dressingsilver dollar
2 tbsp reduced-calorie dressingnail polish bottle
¼ cup dried fruitlarge egg
⅓ cup of riceespresso cup
½ cup of fruitmuffin cup liner
1 cup of vegetableslight bulb
1 oz of meat or cheesematchbook
1 oz of snack foodrounded handful
3 oz meat or cheesedeck of cards
4 oz meat or cheesesmart phone
1 muffin or piece of fruittennis ball
1 bagel or English muffincan of tuna

Know your serving sizes and exchanges
Mastering visual portion cues is a critical first step to smart eating for life. But there are lots of other ways you can ensure that you’re always “dining by choice—not by chance.” Start by tucking Jenny’s Grocery List into your everyday handbag; it can be a handy tool for shopping AND dining out, because it lists a variety of popular foods (and even cocktails) in terms of serving size and/or Jenny Craig exchange. And while you’re packing for preparedness, toss in a few packets of Jenny’s Cuisine® salad dressing for good measure. This will ensure you’ll always be able to find a healthy topping for those tasty greens.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Most restaurant servers will tell you: they’ve already had every special request in the book! So you should never feel embarrassed to ask about the ingredients in your meal or how it’s prepared. For example: if your vegetable “side” is typically served in a heavy cream sauce, ask for it to be steamed, without salt. This simple choice can transform a potential pitfall into a guilt-free food!

Speaking of FREE foods: by all means, get acquainted with these! Many restaurants have a wide selection of vegetables on hand for various recipes, and would be happy to prepare them to your liking. In addition to the two fruit servings that are already listed on your menu, you can also have up to three daily servings of the Limited Free fruits, so this is always a good restaurant option as well. Remember, Jenny Craig isn’t a diet or a fast way to lose weight—it’s a lifestyle. Follow these few simple rules, and dining out can be a happy, healthy part of your week.

Related Content:

’Balanced’ is Your Middle Name
11 Tips to Break Through a Plateau
A Dieter’s Dilemma: Selecting Sweet Treats

Jenny Craig® and Jenny’s Cuisine® are registered trademarks. Used under license.
**Members following our program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week

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