In this post, I'll give you some easy-to-remember rules of thumb that I found online.
By "portion size," I mean how much of the food is on your plate, regardless of the type of food. Even with healthy foods, you can overeat on calories by eating portions that are too large.
I've described the portion sizes below using familiar objects rather than standard units of measure. Take a moment now to memorize these. That way you can quickly check your portion sizes from now on without the need for measuring cups, scales, etc.
Most Useful Portion-Size Rules
- Meat, fish, poultry (1 serving, 3 oz) - size of your palm
- Potato, yam (1 serving) - size of your fist
- Beans, peas, brown rice, pasta (1 serving) - size of your fist
- Fruit or vegetables (1 serving) - size of your fist
- Dried fruit or nuts (1/4 cup) - size of a large egg
- Chips or pretzels (snack serving) - a rounded handful
- Milk, yogurt (1 serving) - size of your fist
- Whole-grain bread (1 serving) - one slice of bread
- Ice cream (1/2 cup) - tennis ball
- Pancake, waffle - size of a CD
- Peanut butter (1 tsp) - tip of your thumb
- Olive oil (1 tsp) - tip of your thumb
- Cheese (1 serving) - size of your whole thumb
- 1 oz of meat, fish, poultry - size of a matchbox
- 1 cup lettuce - four leaves
In the U.S. and other countries, the average portion size is now much larger than it used to be. At restaurants and in homes, people simply have too much food on their plates.
Whether eating out or cooking for yourself, use the handy rules-of-thumb above to verify your portion sizes are appropriate.