What the Perfect Food Portion Sizes Actually Look Like

We've demystified how much dressing should actually pour on your salad greens.
healthy plate overhead

Although most food's nutrition labels clearly state the ideal serving sizes, many of us would rather think they're subjective; after all, we'd prefer just biting into a block of cheese rather than measuring out the suggested ounce. And, realistically, no one wants to go digging for measuring cups or spoons when they're hungry. To help clear things up and make life a little easier, we've put together a guide that'll help you easily eyeball the ideal serving size of your favorite foods. And while you're practicing portion control, don't forget to sneak a peek at our special report, 18 Easy Ways to Control Your Portion Sizes. 

1

Protein

Deck of cards
Amazon

Aim to keep your portions of lean meats and fish the same size as a deck of cards.

2

Pasta

balled fist
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Keep your portions in check by measuring cooked penne against your fist.

3

Cheese

Matchbox
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Wondering how not to go overboard with indulging in the cheese board? Measure out one serving of cheddar against a small matchbox.

4

Oils and Butter

Thumb
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Stick to the tip of your thumb to prevent drizzling too much olive oil into your salad or too much bread on your steamed veggies.

5

Nut Butter

Ping pong ball
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Two tablespoons, or a ping pong ball-worth, of peanut or almond butter should suffice.

6

Fruit

Tennis ball
Ping pong ball

Snacking on grapes after dinner or cherries during lunch? Make sure to keep one fruit serving the size of a tennis ball.

7

Vegetables

Baseball
Shutterstock

Although you should always aim to fill half your plate with veggies, one serving size equates to the size of a baseball.

8

Pancakes

CD-rom
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Not sure when to stop pouring pancake batter onto the hot pan? Blow the dust off a good ol' CD for reference.

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