Portion Control – Size Really Matters

Supersize portions have become the norm in Western society.

It is no secret that portion sizes, as well as waistlines are expanding.

While eating good quality food is very important, the amount you eat matters, as well.

Our stomach is only the size of a fist, though of course, it can stretch to accommodate the food you eat; up to 10 times its original size. 

Compare this with oversized portions several times a day, on a regular basis.

Portion control is a continuing battle for many people. 

Fill half your plate with a different colourful vegetables for good nutrition and tastes to please your palate.

One quarter should contain grains and the other quarter protein.

You don't need to memorise a food list or carry around measuring cups to get a better handle on serving sizes.

Instead, use common visual cues to remind yourself of appropriate serving sizes.



Eat 3 serves of good quality protein each day- breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Choose lean meat (grass fead), lean chicken or turkey (no skin,free range/organic), organic/ free range eggs and fish.

Serving size is between 3 and 4 ounces (about 85 to 114 grams).

1 serve = the size of your palm or deck of playing cards (dimensions and thickness)  



Eat minimum of 3 cups of vegetables per day.

One cup is approximately the size of a clenched fist. 

This will not usually result in many calories, and no fat, unless you add salad dressing!

Small portion sizes, such as a teaspoon of salad dressing, are roughly the same size as the tip of a finger, and one tablespoon is closer to the tip of a thumb.


Vegetarian Protein

Three heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter beans or chickpeas.

Complete proteins can be obtained by combining grains with seeds or legumes (adzuki beans with millet grain; brown rice and sunflower seeds).



Have 2 serves of fruit per day

You can use your hands to determine a serving size of fresh fruit.

Cup your hand, and the amount of fruit that you can fit inside is a single serving of fruit.

Amedium-sized apple would fit.

A small bunch of grapes, would also qualify as a serving.



Have 2 dessertspoons of oil per day = 5 teaspoons. 

1 teaspoon = Thumb tip

Choose extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil or cold pressed organic flaxseed oil, or organic coconut oil.

Two tablespoons of butter or nut butter are similar in size to a ping pong ball.



Have 2 serves per day.

Choose ricotta, feta (goat or sheep) or cottage cheese.

Single portion size of cheese, or 1 ounce (approx. 28 grams) = a thumb or a cube comprised of four dice.

125 g (2 level tablespoons) 100% natural yoghurt = tennis ball.


1 serve = 25 g (aprox. 15 nuts, 6 for Brazil nuts) or a handful of nuts

Choose fresh, raw, unsalted nuts like almond, walnuts, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, cashews, or pine nuts.



Choose organic dry oats, gluten free porridge, quinoa, or long grain basmati / brown rice.

One serve daily = 1/3 cup raw ( approximately 3/4 camp cooked) = your fist

1 cup of whole grain past = tennis ball


It is important to keep in mind that legumes and grains are quite high in carbohydrates and are not necessarily the best way to obtain the majority of your protein if your wishing to lose weight.

One simple way in which to reduce your portion size is to reduce the size of the plates, bowls, spoons and glasses that you typically use.

Another tip is to use chopsticks and eat slowly.

If you're starving, you're more likely to eat an extra-large portion.

For most people, the best plan is to eat three well-designed meals and 2 snacks.


Further Reading: