Judging portion size can be a tough thing to do for most people. This will aim to clear the air a little and make it easier to identify what portion size may be best for your situation. According to the National Institute of Health, we should all aim to consume 2-3 cups of vegetables, 1.5-2 cups of fruits, 5-8oz of grains, and around 5-6.5oz of protein (1). With all that jumbled up in the brain, how can that be broken down into an easier way, so that we can all actually use portion size each meal? Quickly, we’ll start with two things, serving size versus portion size. According to Eatright.org, serving size is basically just the amount of food that is standard for that particular portion of food; whereas portion size is the amount of food we choose to eat per serving (2). So, as an example, the serving size for something may be 1 cup, where instead, we choose a portion size of a half of a cup. While utilizing actual measuring tools like cups, ounces, or with resources like a food scale, we don’t always have access. When it comes to portion size, let’s keep in mind that these are approximations, so nothing is exact or perfect. For portion size, a palm size for protein generally equates to about 3-4oz or so, depending. A fist size of vegetables is around 1-1.5 cups or so. A cupped hand of carbs is a little less than a cup to a cup. Lastly, a serving of fat being around one thumb is about 1-2 tablespoons or so. The amount in each meal is dependent upon the person and how many overall calories they need per day/per meal and so forth (see the previous newsletters covering calories, macros, etc. – email us if you don’t have them!). With all that said, we can help identify and explain portion sizes, so feel free to reach out to us!
If you find yourself wanting to continue researching to find more, another great resource on this is within an infographic from Precision Nutrition, which can be found here: