View Full Version : What constitutes a 'portion' ??

01-25-2004, 14:41
I was wonderin'.... what (how much) constitutes a 'portion' of meat, chicken,
or fish? This would be just for a regular adult, 'meal-at-home'.

Those food pyramids tell you how many servings you should have, but what the heck IS a serving?

Is it the same for beef, chicken , etc AND for other proteins?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Never too old to learn,
Perkolady :confused:

01-25-2004, 15:37
Portions and other nutrition labeling is mandated I suspect by the US Department of Agriculture. If you read the fine print, the portion size, and servings per container is based on a 2000 or 2500 calorie per day diet. While this may be fine for the "average" American and the typical lifestyle, it is no even close to the calories needed for doing sustained ruggerous exercise. A thru-hiker typically needs twice the recommended calories. Therefore, if the package says serves two, it means one hiker.

I don't think that protein content is related to calories. You need about the same amount of protein per day regardless of how much exercise you get. I don't know how many grams per day is the recommended amount.

01-25-2004, 16:27
A basic rule of thumb is a portion size of meat is about the size of your own fist. (So a child's portion would be the size of a child's fist.

I heard this rule at Weight Watchers a couple of years ago for measuring portion sizes at restuarants. I don't actually eat meat, so I'm not necessarily sure how accurate that is.

Hope that helps!

- Ivy

01-25-2004, 16:56
some USDA and FDA guidelines (http://www.a-guide-for-seniors.com/pages/Healthy_Serving.html)

Here's another one thats good (http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0715.html)

These two differ a little on size but one needs to consider personal metabolism, exercise rate and combination of groups.

The issue is also always know the sources of info so as not to listen to proprietary sites. Their info is skewed due to the fact they are selling something.
Thus pecan council uses bigger sizes to sell more nuts. :-?

01-25-2004, 19:13
What constitutes a "portion" at home may not even come close to scratching the surface out on the trail once you get your thru-hiker appetite. In general though I found that in the beginning a 3oz foil packet of chicken or tuna when added to a Lipton meal or a bag of Ramen noodles was enough. Later on I could easily polish off a 7oz bag of either and still be hungry.

Hope that helps ...

01-26-2004, 09:49
There's excellent real information about nutrition, including the Food Pyramid, at


From folks actually not trying to sell you anything! :D

Can't find the info on portions and serving sizes.
Can you make a more specific link?

If you were referring to the Weight Watchers info on that page of my link,
I didn't even notice as the info was not directly related to them.

I don't even notice those banners much any more. :sun

01-26-2004, 10:07
I was wonderin'.... what (how much) constitutes a 'portion' of meat, chicken,
or fish?
Never too old to learn,
Perkolady :confused:

YO PerkoLady:

aside from what the AMA (American Medical Association) & the food pyramid dictates....a portion size is generally about the size of your open hand (3 to 4 oz of meat, fish, chicken etc.)

of course, that doesnt sound like a lot knowing that we, Americans are now used to the "SUPER-sized" portions that we recieve in restuarants.

most freeze-dried lunches are 6 to 8 oz. portions. of course, you'll need the extra oz. of food for the extra carbs & protein for the trail! ;)
good luck with your hiking.

see you UP the trail in 2004!

01-26-2004, 11:37
After years of planning group meals, you learn what a normal person will eat while on strenuous acvitivy. It's about 2.5 servings. This will vary person to person, but this is the average. We usually have a little left over if it wasn't that great, and if it is really good, only those that eat real fast get seconds :)

Gravity Man

01-26-2004, 17:58
Thanks kiddo, I wasn't riled up or anything. :sun :sun

02-02-2004, 00:08
Thanks to everyone for your replies !

Happy hiking and good eating to you all.

Perkolady :D