Sometimes, the hardest part of dieting can be understanding portion sizes. How much is too much? We’ve taken the guesswork out of eating healthily by finding out easy ways to determine the portion sizes you should be eating...
Cereals & Grains
1 cup is the amount that fits in a mounded pile in the palm of a medium adult hand or about the size of a tennis ball. It provides approximately 200 calories. This rule excludes granola. Granola is best used as a topping or mixed in with cereal, instead of eaten by the bowl-full as it contains a lot of sugar. A correct portion of granola should just cover the center portion of your palm.
Nuts & Dried Fruit
1 serving of dried fruit or nuts is 1/4 cup (40 grams), which fills the center of the palm of a medium adult hand. Similar to granola consume these sparingly. Avoid dried fruit that contain added sugar.
One medium piece of fresh fruit is about the size of a small fist or 3–4 inches in diameter. Aim for 3–5 servings of fruit per day — and since dried fruit is so calorie-dense, opt for fresh first.
A serving of leafy greens is technically 1 cup, but this is one time where we recommend doubling or tripling the portion — 2 cups is about what two medium adult hands can pick up in a single go.
Non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions. 1 cup of chopped, non-starchy vegetables creates a mounded handful in a medium adult hand.
Starchy vegetables like corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini and yams are higher in carbohydrates and therefore more calorie-dense –– all the more reason why knowing the portion size is important. As with non-starchy vegetables, a serving of starchy vegetables fits in an average adult hand.
Meat, Poultry & Fish
An 85g piece of fish, poultry or meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the whole palm of your hand. Focus on lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, seafood or lean cuts of beef and pork.
A serving of cheese is about the size of your index finger. This size serving is around 150–165 calories, so a little goes a long way.
Depending on what variety you buy 1 cup of milk provides anywhere from 90–145 calories. In an average-size glass (not a tall and skinny one), 1 cup measures about the size of a small fist.
Fruit Juices & Smoothies
Fruit juice is around 150 calories and smoothies can be anywhere up to 500 calories so consume with caution! 1 standard measuring cup is about the size of a small fist.
Being able to assess servings visually is a big help when you’re trying to lose weight, especially when it’s time to eat out.