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Visual Cues to Control Overeating

When it comes to the obesity epidemic, many people blame it on super-sized portions. This is why portion control diets like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are so successful. These diets train you how to eat proper portions, and after completion, leave it up to you to stay on track. Fortunately, there are many visual cues that can guide a dieter in figuring out a correct portion size. Itís not necessary to carry around a measuring cup or food scale to stay on a diet. Although using smaller plates and dishes may prevent overeating, the key is to know what a correct portion size looks like. By using visual cues such as a baseball, tennis ball, deck of cards, hockey puck and dice, itís easy to estimate a proper serving size even at restaurants or parties.

A baseball for vegetables

Even some produce items have been grown to gigantic sizes. A proper serving of a green or red pepper, for example, should be the size of a baseball. Sliced cooked carrots should fill up a bowl about half the size of a baseball. Meanwhile, one serving of cooked spinach or 2 cups would be the size of two baseballs. A serving of zucchini, cooked or fresh, is ĺ of a cup or 25 calories. Of course, adding oil or butter would substantially increase the number of calories.

A tennis ball for fruit

When it comes to whole fruit, the proper size of an orange or an apple should be about the size of a tennis ball. One serving of fruit is about 60 calories. When making fruit smoothies, some people inadvertently double the calories by not watching portion size.

Deck of cards for protein

To figure out how much chicken to eat at a restaurant, cut a piece of chicken about the size of a deck of cards. Skinless chicken breast that is the size of a deck of cards contains about 110 calories. A lean 2-ounce hamburger should be the size of a deck of cards for it to be considered one serving.

A hockey puck for carbs

Use a hockey puck as a visual cue to figure out the proper portion size for pasta. A half of a cup of cooked pasta should look about as big as a hockey puck. One serving has about 70 calories and is the equivalent of one carbohydrate serving. A serving of rice should also be the same size as a hockey puck. Use a hockey puck to estimate the proper size of a muffin, small bun, cereal or crackers.

Four dice for dairy

Think of the size of four dice to estimate the correct serving size for cheese. Two ounces of low-fat cheese is one serving of dairy and equals about 110 calories. Four dice is also the portion size for cottage cheese. To figure out one serving of fat such as mayonnaise or butter, envision two dice. One serving of fat has 45 calories.

Many dieters have lost weight on a portion controlled diet. However, itís important to avoid mini-sized desserts that contain too much sugar. Some ďpetite treatsĒ contain as much as 70 grams of sugar which can derail any diet. Stick to healthy fruits, vegetables and lean protein for the best results.


Top 10 Diets

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