Knowing and using the recommended portion sizes for foods is an important part to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. Food portions may be best understood by comparing the foods to common household items, weighing them on a food scale, or measuring foods using standard measuring cups. Packaged foods often indicate the number of servings they contain and can be divided accordingly.
Total Amount Recommended|
|Examples of One Serving||Reference|
Meat, Poultry, & Fish (3oz.)|
Cooked beans (1/2 cup)
Nuts & Nut butters (1/4 cup)
Deck of cards|
Cheese (1 ½ oz.)|
Yogurt (1 cup)
pasta (1 cup)|
Cereal (1 cup)
Bread (1 slice)
Raw or cooked vegetables and leafy greens (1 cup)|
Baked regular or sweet potato (1)
Mashed potatoes (1/2 cup)
Whole apple or orange (1)|
Strawberries (1 cup)
Other Berries and Grapes (1/2 cup)
Dried fruit (1/4 cup)
|Fats||Use sparingly||Butter, margarine, salad dressing, and mayonnaise (1 Tbsp)||Tip of your thumb|
Piece of cake (3.5 oz.)|
Frozen yogurt or ice cream (1/2 cup)
Deck of cards|
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Try these 4 tips to help control your portions:
- Don’t eat foods straight from the package. Measure out a single serving and put the package away. Purchasing items that come in single serving containers also helps.
- It’s OK to enjoy a good dessert once and a while, but instead of eating an entire piece, try to eat only half the amount.
- Eat high fiber or protein foods with your meals, protein and fiber help to keep you fuller for longer.
- Use a small plate for meals instead of a large dinner plate.
Be mindful of portion sizes when eating out at a restaurant
- Share an entree with a friend or family member.
- Divide the meal in half and put one half in a to-go container for a future meal.
- Order the smallest size meal or the lunch size entrée if possible.
- Order an appetizer as your meal instead of an entrée.