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How do I figure out portion sizes when I’m logging my food?

Portion sizes have increased over the past couple of decades, so it can be tough to differentiate standard servings (aka the amount experts say we should eat) from portion sizes (how much we choose to eat).

You may intend to make a meal out of 3 ounces of meat and 2 cups of veggies, but without access to food packages and scales (when you’re dining out or at a friend’s house), it can be difficult to figure out actual serving sizes.

Paying close attention to serving sizes is easiest when you have measuring tools on hand, but it’s always helpful to have easy comparisons in a pinch:

  • 1 tsp butter = tip of thumb
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes = half an apple
  • 1/2 cup cooked spaghetti = baseball
  • 1/2 cup ice cream = tennis ball
  • 3 ounces beef = deck of cards
  • 1 cup green salad = baseball
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli = light bulb
  • 3 ounces grilled/baked fish = checkbook
  • 1/2 cup rice = fits into cupped hand