Serving Sizes

Serving sizes are sometimes a mystery. Especially when eating out! When I eat out, I generally assume most of what I am eating is 2 servings. One trick is to ask for a “doggy bag” when your food is delivered. Immediately put half of the food in the box to have for lunch the next day.

Another trick I do is to split an entree. One time, Michael and I went to one of our favorite restaurants for lunch, Papa Haydn’s in Sellwood. We got the Croque Monsieur (Black forest ham or turkey on grilled parmesan coated bread with gruyére and dijon) and split the sandwich. We also ordered a caesar salad and split that. It was the perfect serving size for us!

When eating processed food, pay attention to the labels. I found a nifty guide online (see above left). Sometimes there’s multiple servings in an item and you don’t even realize it!

Here is a general guide on serving sizes:

Meat or Poultry (cooked)
Suggested portion: 3 – 4 oz.
Size guide: A deck of playing cards or a computer mouse

Fish (cooked)
3 – 4 oz.
A checkbook, or an eyeglass case

Salad greens
1 cup
Two cupped handfuls

Veggies (raw or cooked)
1/2 cup
Roughly the size of a baseball

Fresh fruit
1 medium piece
A baseball

1 small slice
A cassette tape

Pancakes and waffles
2 small pancakes or waffles
A compact disc

1 cup
Your fist

1/2 cup
Cupcake wrapper

A small potato, about 3 oz. (most restaurants serve 6 – 12 ounces of potatoes!)
A bar of soap

Dried cereal
1 cup
Your fist

Dried fruits and nuts
1 oz.
An egg

1 1/2 oz.
A large eraser or 4 stacked dice

Yogurt and milk
1 cup
A fist

Ice cream
1/2 cup
1/2 a baseball, or a Clementine

1 oz.
Small package of dental floss

Oil, mayonnaise, and butter
1 teaspoon*
The tip of your thumb

*Most people use far more butter and oil than the standard serving size, 1 teaspoon. For reference, 3 “tips of your thumb” measurements are equal to about one tablespoon.

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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