Tips to Remember Portion Sizes


There was once a time when a standard cup of coffee was eight ounces and had only 45 calories from added milk and sugar. Today the average coffee is twice as large at 16 ounces and 350 calories from added milk and sugar.

Often times it is hard to discern what the size of a serving should be, especially with out-of-control portions like the “jumbo” and “super size” options available at restaurants.  It is easy to lose track of how much you should be consuming.  But just because today’s culture of “more is better” has invaded the food industry does not mean that you have to or should sacrifice eating healthy.

Keeping an eye on portion sizes is an excellent way to control how much food you consume in order to maintain a balanced diet. Luckily, many portion sizes match up to everyday objects. This provides visual cues that make it easy to remember the size of one serving.  Practice these cues and soon it will be easy to practice accurate portion control and keep your serving sizes in check!


  • Half a cup of cooked whole-grain pasta is about the same size as a hockey puck and equals one carbohydrate serving, or 70 calories. If you prefer rice or are looking for a gluten free option, 1/3 cup of cooked brown rice is also 70 calories.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Half a cup of cooked carrots is about the same as half a baseball and equals one vegetable serving, or about 25 calories. When eating raw leafy green vegetables the serving will appear larger. Two cups of spinach, or two baseballs, are about 25 calories.
  • One small apple or medium orange is about the same size as a tennis ball and equals one fruit serving, or about 60 calories.

Dairy, Fat, and Protein

  • Two teaspoons of regular mayonnaise are about the same size as two dice and equal one fat serving, or about 45 calories.
  • Two ounces of low-fat hard cheddar cheese are about the same size as three to four dice and equal one protein/dairy serving, or about 110 calories.
  • One serving of meat equals the size of a deck of cards.

Other tips:

  • Use smaller plates and bowls to keep portions in check
  • Buy pre-portioned 100 calorie packs to use for snacks

One thought on “Tips to Remember Portion Sizes

  1. Great article, it’s easy to lose track of what a “regular” portion should be. Half a baseball sized serving of vegetables seems way tiny.

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