It’s pretty basic, a healthy diet consists of healthy foods. We all know that’s true, but what’s not as clear? Just how much food we should be eating. Eating proper portions will both improve your nutrition and can sometimes be that last nudge you need to help you reach your goals. After reading these tips, portion control will become second nature.


portion control


Empower Yourself

Gain knowledge of serving sizes. Learning portions of food items will help you make balanced and healthy choices at any meal. Here are some “go to” serving sizes to learn and keep with you.

Carb/Grain – ½ cup; 1 slice

Fruit – 1 cup diced or medium w hole fruit

Oils/nut butters – 2 tbsp.

Milk/Yogurt – 1 cup

Meat/Fish – 3-4 oz.

Veggies – 1 cup


Still a little confused about that that means? There are a number of different strategies for managing portions at meals. Experiment with these plans to see what “clicks” and works best for you.

Measuring cup method

portion control

When serving yourself a meal at home, use your measuring cups instead of serving spoons. You will learn what ½ cup looks like after serving this portion for a while. Then when eating out you will have a better idea of how many servings you have on your plate.

Plate method

portion contorl

This is an easy way to “eye ball” your servings and manage them at a meal. Remember the, “Half / Quarter / Quarter” rule: 1/2 page veggies, 1/4 plate carb, 1/4 plate protein.  For a mixed food (spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf, casserole) think ½ plate mixed food and ½ plate veggies.

Hand method

Portion Control

Our hand can be a useful measuring tool to help us visualize appropriate servings.

Protein serving – Size of palm

Vegetable serving – Size of fist

Serving of carb – Size of cupped hand

Serving of fat – Size of thumb


jenni costelloBy Rise Coach Jenni Costello, CPT, R.D., LCSW. Jenni worked in a hospital and gym setting after completing a B.A. in Nutrition and certification in personal training. She realized that what stood in the way of many of her clients reaching their goals was not only their meal planning but also their self esteem, attitude and behaviors. She then completed a Master’s degree in Social Work specializing in mental health. Learn more about Jenni and how to work with her here.