What are the proper portion sizes for food?

Crystal Robertson
Nutrition & Dietetics
To keep control of your portions, begin with measuring cups and spoons. In this video, Crystal Robertson, a registered dietitian at Riverside Community Hospital, describes some shortcuts once you get used to measuring.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
See below for suggested portions for a variety of foods:

1. Brown rice, other whole grains, and mashed potatoes should look like half of a baseball.

2. A whole-grain muffin should like a tennis ball, that’s all.

3. A serving of fruit juice – think small cup of yogurt.

4. Fish, chicken, and lean red meats that are 2-3 ounces should resemble a deck of cards.

5. A serving of raw almonds is 22 nuts but to “eye-proximate” a handful or serving of nuts in general, think about what 1 and a half golf balls look like. That’s your mark.

6. A serving of potato chips (because I know you’ll eat them at some point) an ounce (which equals 1 serving) looks like a half of grapefruit. You’ve got to admit though, a half of ruby red grapefruit, sweet and juicy gives a much bigger bang for your nutrition buck.

7. A serving of low-fat vanilla ice cream (because I know you’re going to eat ice cream too) should look like a half of an orange.

8. A one-ounce serving of cheese looks like a pair of dice.
Vegetable serving sizes vary slightly but not much. A serving of raw leafy veggies is 1 cup while a serving of cooked vegetables is half a cup, not the full plate typically served in many restaurants
Manuel Villacorta
Nutrition & Dietetics

One quick way to know about your portion sizes is by talking to your hand. You can use this quick way of measuring food anywhere, anytime! So always eat according to the size of your hand.

  • A fist is about a cup size of grains
  • A female palm size is about 3-4 oz
  • A male palm size is about 5-6 oz
  • A thumb is about a tsp of oils or dressings 
Doreen Rodo
Nutrition & Dietetics

Here are some ways to remember portion sizes:

1 oz of cheese equals the size of 4 dice.

1/2 cup ice cream, fruit or vegetable equals the size of a tennis ball.

1 medium piece of fruit equals the size of a tennis ball.

3oz of meat equal the size of a deck of cards.

Cup your hand and the center of your palm equals 1oz of nuts


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.