Portion Control

Quick Portion Guide

  • Beverages - fist is about a cup
  • Crackers and chips - handful is about an ounce
  • Baked goods - two fingers or one small biscotti is about 150 calories; size of palm is 500 calories.
  • Fried food - Limit or omit
  • Pizza - stick to one slice and fill up on salad that is low in fat
  • Salad - make it big and low in fat
  • Meat - deck of cards
Beware of 7 Portion Control Mistakes
  1. Beverages: According to the dietary guidelines, beverages are the source for refined/added sugar in most people’s diets. Plus, there is the issue of volume. Most people need to drink 2-4 or more quarts of water per day and if the water is part of soda or other beverages with sugar and or fat calories, then there is the potential to add a lot of calories that may not be associated with satiety. Water is the best choice!
  2. Crackers and chips: These fill everyone’s pantries and they are very easy to grab and eat on the go. But they are calorie dense and a serving size of just an ounce (about one handful) is very small. Make sure you have fruits and vegetables for grab and go snacks, too.
  3. Baked goods: Most baked goods look normal when they are actually huge sizes. Consider that cookies or cake for sale in most bakeries are upwards of 500 calories. An apple is just 80 calories.
  4. Fried food: Frying food doubles the calories of just about any food versus eating it plain. Choose foods that are grilled, poached, baked or roasted.
  5. Pizza: Eating pizza until you're full can lead to 2 or 3 times the amount of servings you should eat. Remember to go light on the cheese and start out with a large salad first.
  6. Salad: Many people get into trouble with salad in two ways. First they load up on high fat ingredients like mayonnaise-laden dressings, cheese, croutons or bacon. Second, they tend to eat too little salad - which if low in fat would help displace higher fat/calorie foods. Eat more salad but make it low in fat.
  7. Meat: Most cuts of meat from a store or restaurant are much bigger than a 3 ounce serving. Make sure that your portion of meat or chicken or fish fills just one quarter of the plate.
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