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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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.


2/22/2015 8:03:31 AM

JDAN-SAVOY's SparkPage
The deck of cards does look bigger than it should be. But I've also considered maybe the woman pictured has small hands?...


2/22/2015 7:14:18 AM

DJSHIP46's SparkPage
That's two decks of cards... Not a very accurate visual!!!


12/18/2014 8:44:36 PM

COLUMBINE2's SparkPage
Regarding Portion Distortion: (one of my favorites on SP except......)

Maybe I'm the only non-athlete on S, but I really doubt it. I understand the comparisons..but they aren't very relevant in my life. I haven't seen a pool ball or a hockey puck in my life. And I have't seen a ping pong ball or a baseball in decades. Your deck of cards look oversized in my memory, but I haven't used a deck of cards in 20+ yrs.

Could we get another set of examples for portion control?


9/9/2014 2:09:26 PM

Thank you PamperedChef1. I printed out the Nicks portion size to put on my fridge.


5/26/2014 8:44:45 PM

MICHELE14509's SparkPage
The picture of a deck of cards is misleading - that has to be at least two decks combined. Might want to switch that out.


7/31/2013 8:33:16 AM

MRSVB8505's SparkPage
I didn't find those very helpful....since I am not a sports type person - trying to visualize the size of all the baseballs and hockey pucks is not too helpful for me. :-(


2/6/2013 2:19:07 PM

AMHAMP's SparkPage
This was helpful, thanks.


2/6/2013 9:33:10 AM

nick junior website does brilliant printable visuals. Many thanks to Sparker who told us how to find that!


2/5/2013 8:44:51 PM

I'm doing a nutrition search for teaching children portion sizes. Many of you have asked for a "fridge reminder." The Nick Jr website has one you can print. Just search for Nick Jr Portion chart. The amounts pictured for kids 6+ are the same.

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