Eyeballing Portion Size

by Teri Sprouse on January 22, 2017

With so many people focused on weight loss and changing their eating habits in the new year, I thought it might be helpful to offer some guidelines on proper portion sizes.  I am not a big fan of weighing and measuring food because I think it is too difficult to sustain and really, who wants to carry a scale with them all the time?  I would rather people learn to eyeball appropriate portion sizes.  This method is not exact but is much easier to make a permanent part of their lives.  With that being said, here are a few common foods and their single serve portion size in relation to common objects.

Fruit: 1 Medium  = 1 Baseball

Fruit juice: 6 fluid oz.  = Juice glass

Vegetables: 1/2 cup  =Bulb part of a light bulb

Bagel: 1/2 small= 1/2 of a packaged English muffin

Bread: toast 1 slice  =  Slice from standard loaf

Cold Breakfast Cereal: 1 cup (8 oz)  = Standard teacup

Pasta or rice: 1/2 cup cooked = fill a standard cup cake wrapper

Meat, chicken, fish: 3 oz.  = Palm of a woman’s hand

Beans (kidney, pinto, etc.): 1/2 cup (4 oz)    = Bulb part of a light bulb

Eggs: 1 (replaces 1 oz. meat)   =  1 Large egg

Peanut butter: 2 tablespoons  =   Size of 1 whole walnut shell

Cheese: 1 ounce (oz)  =   2 dominoes

Milk, yogurt: 1 cup  =Standard yogurt container

Soy milk: 1 cup = Standard yogurt container

chips, popcorn and other airy snacks = the size of an incandescent light bulb


Butter: 1 teaspoon (tsp.) =1 pat

Salad dressing: 1 tablespoon (T or tbs)= 1/2 walnut shell full

Sugar: 1 teaspoon  =  1 packet

Cream Cheese: 1 tablespoon  = 1 packet

Whipping Cream (Light): 1 tablespoon  =Size of 1 marshmallow

Half and Half : 1 tablespoon =1/2 walnut shell full

With a little practice, using these common objects to help you gauge portion size will become easier.  Enjoy and happy munching!




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