Sharon Chan Forever Wealth

How to measure how much to eat?

Have you ever asked yourself “have I eaten too much?” Or “have I eaten enough?” Having too much or too little food will have a negative impact on weight management and well-being. A simple way to estimate portion size is by comparing food with our hands or familiar objects.


Whole grains/ cereal: rice, noodles, pasta, bread, oat, quinoa

Recommended 3 – 6 portions daily (6 ounces)

1 portion = ½ bowl of rice, noodles, or 1 slice of bread

1 ounce = ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, oat = a rounded handful or a tennis ball

1 portion = 1 packet instant oatmeal, or 5 whole wheat crackers

1 portion = 3 cups popcorn (popped)

Rounded handful pic: precision nutrition Rounded handful
                   pic: precision nutrition

Vegetables: spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, red bell pepper, pumpkin, carrot, sprouts, squash

Recommended 3 portions daily eat more

1 portion = ½ bowl of cooked leafy greens = half of a fist

1 portion = 1 cup chopped raw or cooked veggies (carrot, broccoli) = a fist

1 portion = 2 cup raw leafy greens = 2 fists

1 portion of lettuce = 4 leaves of romaine lettuce

A fist  

Fruits: apple, pear, kiwi, banana, dragon fruit, berries

Recommended 2 portions daily

1 portion = 1 medium apple, pear = a fist

1 portion = 32 grapes, 3 medium plums, or 8 strawberries, ½ a banana

1 portion = 1 cup (237ml) of 100% juice

1 portion = dried fruit (raisins, prunes, apricots) = half a fist


Protein: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, egg, beans, soy, tofu, nuts, seeds

Recommended 5 ½ to 6 ounces daily eat moderate

1 ounce = 12 almonds, 7 walnut halves, 24 pistachios, or hummus = a golf ball

1 ounce of protein = 1 egg, or ¼ cup of cooked beans and peas,

2 ounces = a Ping-Pong ball size of peanut butter

3 ounces of meat or poultry = palm of hand (thickness of pinkie finger), a deck of cards

3 ounces of fish = a check book, or 1 can of tuna (drained)

Palm of hand

Palm of hand

Oil, salt, sugar: vegetable oil, butter, animal fats, margarine, salad dressing

Recommend to minimized (5 teaspoons) eat less

1 teaspoon = thumb tip

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 2 thumbs together

Healthy oils: avocado, olives, nuts, and some fish

3 teaspoons = ½ avocado, or sunflower seeds, almonds = 2 thumbs together

4 teaspoons = a Ping-Pong ball size of peanut butter

A thumb

A thumb

pic: Lauren Cowne

Thumb tip                             pic: Lauren Cowne


The amount of food you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. The above recommended portion is for adults. It may varies based on your health goals. Your hands are the most portable and personalized measuring tool for food intake.

Hopefully you will find this useful in helping you measure out your portions. If you want more practical tips on how to manage your weight or how to eat healthily, you can always seek professional advice from a registered dietitian.


For more information about portion size and the food pyramid:

Share with us about your way of measuring food =) Do you use a cup? eye-balling?

Be well,

Sharon MS RD

This entry was published on September 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm. It’s filed under Others, Wellness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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