Picture-Perfect Portion Sizes

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Picture-Perfect Portion Sizes

Whether you're going out to eat or trying to read a nutrition facts label, proper portions are essential for weight control. When you don't have access to measuring cups and spoons, use these everyday objects to estimate your portion sizes like a pro.

1/4 cup = One Egg

A medium egg is about the size of a one-quarter cup. That's the proper size for serving of dried fruit.

1/2 cup = One Billiard Ball

One-half cup is about the size of a billiard ball. A half-cup portion is a single serving of the following foods: cooked grains (such as oats or brown rice), dry cereal, raw fruit (canned, fresh or frozen), cooked vegetables, and cooked beans or legumes.

1 cup = A Baseball

Don't have a measuring cup on hand? Then think of a baseball, which is about the same size. One cup of raw, leafy greens (like salad) counts as a serving of vegetables and one cup of milk counts as a single serving of dairy.

6 oz = A Hockey Puck

Fluid ounces are often harder to measure, especially when glasses and cups vary in size and shape. But 6 oz. of volume takes up about the same amount of space as a hockey puck, which is equivalent to one serving of 100% fruit or vegetable juice.

2 Tbsp = A Ping Pong Ball

Estimate a 2-tablespoon serving size (which is equal to one serving of nuts, seeds or peanut butter) by picturing a ping pong ball.

2-3 oz = A Deck of Cards

Although most servings of meat, tofu and fish double or triple the standard serving size of 2-3 ounces, you can eyeball your protein portions by picturing a deck of playing cards.

1 oz = A Pair of Dice

One ounce. That's the proper serving size for a serving of cheese. You can estimate your portions knowing that one ounce of cheese is about the size of a pair of dice.

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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9/22/2016 12:32:41 AM

That deck of playing cards, used to measure a 2- to 3-oz serving of meat, isn't a standard deck. It looks like a double deck ... it's way more than 52 cards.


8/20/2016 12:00:01 PM

I have heard of these for a long time, but never tried. I think I would need an index card or something to help me remember which portion is which.


6/12/2016 7:38:03 PM

JWOOLMAN's SparkPage
My problem with these comparisons is that often the shape is too different from the way foods are eaten.

I actually routinely cut 8oz blocks of cheese into 8 pieces (1oz portions) and package them individually for the fridge or freezer. That gives me a better sense than a pair of dice (what size? Haven't handled one in decades). Some string cheese is an ounce, that's a helpful visualization aid also. For fluid ounces, just measure water in a measuring cup and add to your usual glass. Mark it if needed. That will reinforce your memory of what 6 or 8 or 2 or 4 ounces looks like in the glass you actually use.

A digital scale is a good investment if you're trying to figure these things out also. Once you've weighed an item often enough, you get a good feeling for the size of a portion for those times a scale isn't handy. You also get a feeling for what that means as far as filling your usual bowls or containers is concerned.


3/3/2016 7:02:14 AM

TERESA_270's SparkPage
Good to know.


2/7/2016 6:35:37 PM

I would never thought of an egg measuring 1/4 cup of anything. LoL! Good one!


11/11/2015 10:41:22 PM

So so helpful!!! Thank youuuu


11/11/2015 7:28:45 PM

So those are great references for men but not women. Can you come up with some more friendly female alternatives.


11/11/2015 4:47:12 PM

SANDALWOOD108's SparkPage
Yay! Some advice that's practical, easy to remember and accurate. :) This will work for me, thanks!


10/4/2015 10:27:28 AM

I guess this might work if you are an avid sports fan, I don't think I have ever see a hockey puck in person, the last time I saw a baseball was in HS, guess that might have been a softball, and never played ping pong or billiards so no idea what size they are.


3/14/2015 6:30:49 PM

I have been pretty good about potion sizes except when it comes to cheese! I had no idea that i consumed 3 oz of cheese by eating 6 little squares. Cheese is like nuts, you only need a taste...


2/22/2015 9:26:24 PM

CHERSUZ's SparkPage
Very helpful. ...thanks!!!


2/22/2015 7:45:22 PM

thank you very much for the portion size pictures Now I know why I'm really overweight my portions are out of control


2/22/2015 6:04:46 PM

Makes it a lot easier to see a serving size.


2/22/2015 3:23:49 PM

LARSIL's SparkPage
The "deck of cards" in the picture is actually a DOUBLE DECK - yes, that's used in many games, but which accurately shows 2-3 oz. of meat? Single or double?


2/22/2015 12:02:36 PM

SUSAN727's SparkPage
Thank you for the article but I can't visualize the portion sizes from these examples.

Comment Pages (6 total)

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