Slow and Steady

Portion Sizes

Posted on: December 1, 2008

I have been looking up exactly how many portions of each food group we should be eating a day and I have to say, they don’t make finding the information very easy! Fruit and Veg of course is easy at least 5 portions, it even has it’s own website, click here if you want to see.

So I went on to and I found out that

For Diary:

You can get all the calcium your body needs from around 3 servings a day. A serving of milk is a 200ml glass, a serving of yogurt is a small pot (150g), a serving of cheese is 30g (matchbox size). Choose lower fat versions whenever you can, such as semi-skimmed milk, low fat yogurt and reduced fat cheese.

However for carbs there are very vague guidelines such as

“Base a third of your food intake on foods from this group, aiming to include at least one food from this group at each meal, e.g. potatoes with fish and vegetables, a chicken salad sandwich, stir-fried vegetables with rice, or porridge oats for breakfast.

There is no amount. Neither is there any for meat. I just keep coming back to the same eat well plate, which is very pretty, but not very helpful. Just in case you haven’t seen it, here it is

When I looked on the US equivalent it is more specific, it had the amount of portions and what a portion is.

So what I suppose then is if they’ve split the plate into 3 and the fruit and veg bit is 5 portions, then the carb bit is also 5 portions. If the diary bit is 3 portions as stated in the text, then the fats must be one and the meat is two.

Now I think that all looks reasonable apart from the fat. Can you really only have a teaspoon of oil all day?

I can definitely see where I’ve been going wrong in portion sizes, I usually have about double the meat/fish. I’m going to weigh everything for the next week until I have an idea of what it looks like.

Moving on to what exactly is a portion, the clearest explanation came, funnily enough, from Tesco.

I’m going to try and base my food around this, but even though I use oil sparingly in my cooking, I think I’ll be going over the oil allowance. Also, as much as I love diary (well cheese), I am slightly intolerant to it.  I don’t buy milk fresh because until last week, I didn’t have a reason to. Now I’ve decided to add cereal to my day, that has all changed. I’ve been using dried milk (Tesco Value version which I had in the house for when a recipe calls for milk), and I like it. It has the taste of milk without the thickness. I don’t see myself changing to fresh any time soon. It’s also very cheap comparatively.

Meal Planning

I find planning meals helps control my spending and I eat better when I have planned for the week. I base it on what I have in the cupboard, so I buy as minimal as possible.  It usually boils down to 2 different types of fruit, 2 different types of veg and some form of meat/fish. I try and replace the essentials such as chopped tomatoes when I’m down to the last one. I used to really stockpile, but it was getting silly as I don’t have a lot of space and I live alone. I just didn’t have a need for 15 tins of tomatoes all at once! lol

It’s supposed to be for a rainy day and it has definitely come for me right now.


*Leftovers from my friends house yesterday*



2 pieces of fruit and a bowl of cereal (Tesco Value Bran Flakes, 70p and tastes practically the same as the Kelloggs ones. It’s also the same calories and nutrition table as the Tesco healthy range!)


Soup with bread. I’ve got a tin to use up, but will make my own on Tuesday for the rest of the week.


Cabbage Rolls. I’ve had this cabbage for about three weeks now, and it still looks good but I am going to try to use it all up before it goes off. I’m going to stuff it with soya mince, toasted pumpkin seeds and Rice.  I’ll serve with some steamed carrots. What cabbage is left I’ll make into soup, maybe with butter beans!



2 pieces of fruit and cereal


Soup with Bread


Now, I’m going to be experimental here, when I was on Atkins (I’ve tried nearly every diet known to man!), I got around not eating potatoes by making butter bean mash. I’m going to use it as mash and mix it with tuna to make fish cakes. I’ll serve this with steamed greens


Same Breakfast and lunch. I know it seems boring, but I actually don’t mind!


Smoked Mackerel with Greens… Gosh I would just have had this, but I need another portion of carbs. Erm… I’ll have some boiled dumplings.


Breakfast and lunch as usual


Mackerel and rice with steamed carrots.


A change!

My usual fruit, but today I’ll make some porridge. Now this is a real naughty breakfast, how can oats be naughty? Well, my granny’s recipe is to make it with milk and some condensed milk! Now I don’t make it with milk, I make it with water, but I add a couple of tablespoons of condensed milk in near the end. Then I add some nutmeg and cinnamon to it. Yum Yum!

Lunch isn’t usually needed after that porridge!


Stirfry of whatever veg is left with rice noodles.

There we have it my meal plan. I’m thinking about snacks… What would be a good idea?


1 Response to "Portion Sizes"

Hello again

I see you are using dried milk and you are using condensed too.Did you know you can make condensed from dried……haven’t tried it but heard good things i think there is a recipe on Youtube somewhere


will be back with recipe and clip if poss

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