A Guide to Healthy Portion Sizes [+ PDF File to Print Out]

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes.

To control your portion size is one of the most important aspects for weight loss management. We tend to overestimate how much we eat. But in many cases we just don't know what healthy portion sizes are.

(Don't fee like reading right now? Then watch this video I made you while sipping your coffee!)

 I created for you a portion size guide for the most popular food groups and a video, because, as they say, it’s better one time to see than hundred times to hear (on in your case, read).

You can also download this guide as a PDF (for ex., to hang it on your fridge) following the link below.

Guide to Healthy Portion Sizes

Salad: Two hands together (1 cup).

Lean meat, poultry, fish: Size and thickness of the center of your palm (4 oz).

Cheese: Two thumbs (2 tbs or 1 oz).

Salad dressing, oil, seeds: Two thumbs (2 tbs).

Nuts: Two thumbs

  • walnuts: 14
  • cashews: 18
  • hazelnuts/pistachios: 20
  • peanuts: 33

Vegetables, milk, fruit, yogurt: Fist-size portion (1 cup).

Carbohydrates (cereal, pasta, rice, bread, couscous, quinoa, etc.): Fist-size portion (1 cup).

Carbohydrates (cereal, pasta, rice, bread, couscous, quinoa, etc.) deserve a special mention here, as these are the foods we tend to serve and eat twice as much as a healthy portion size goes.

Keep it one cup!

Note: If you are a corpulent person, or if you exercise a lot, your serving sizes might need to be larger.

Download as PDF

Don't feel like reading? Then watch!

Share this! Help your friends eat healthier!

About the Author

Arantxa Mateo

Arantxa is a trained biologist, nutrition specialist and weight management coach. Born in Spain, she spent 5 years in Australia before moving to the US. Her motto is "Food is a pleasure. Nobody deserves to be on a diet."

Find out more about Arantxa and 32 Mondays >>

Write a comment

Comments: 11
  • #1

    James Miller (Friday, 08 April 2016 12:49)

    This was very help full thanks i will keep this in mine especially when eating with Sergio but all kidding aside this will really help me thanks.

  • #2

    Arantxa (Friday, 08 April 2016 14:57)

    I am glad it was helpful James! Believe me it took a while to educate Sergio on portion sizes but he is there now!

  • #3

    nora ruiz (Thursday, 15 March 2018 11:27)

    this portion is for person who eat meat but the person who eat plant base I don't now if take enough calories

  • #4

    Arantxa Mateo (Thursday, 15 March 2018 14:02)

    Hi Nora!

    Those are just recommended portion sizes it doesn't specify how many portion sizes you should eat depending on your needs. If you are interested in learning a healthy eating plan to lose weight you can check my article here: https://www.32mondays.com/2016/08/24/healthy-eating-plan-to-lose-weight/

    The article is not specific for meat or plant base eaters, but if you doesn't eat meat or are vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute whatever you don't eat with something you do. The importance is to have the right combination of foods, and usually the major challenge is to have enough source of protein. If you struggle with that, remember that beans are rich in protein and if you are already wondering the amount of calories in beans, check my article: "Are beans fattening?" here: https://www.32mondays.com/2016/05/12/are-beans-fattening/

    I hope this clarifies your question. Thanks for stepping in!


  • #5

    Jeane (Monday, 02 July 2018 02:19)

    Thank you, I always wonder what is too much food. I usually eats food til I’m no hungry anymore. And I have the worse earring habit at night. I’ll work on regularly eating habits .

  • #6

    Arantxa Mateo (Wednesday, 04 July 2018 09:29)

    Hi Jeane,
    Thanks for stepping in and letting me know your experience.
    To think that we need to eat until we don't feel hungry anymore is a misconception. It takes a while until our brain receives the signal that we have eaten enough. It also depends on what we eat. If we wait until we feel satietated it will be too much and too late.
    Just follow the portion sizes for each meal and pretty soon you'll get used to eat what you need not needing to wait until you feel full.

  • #7

    Javier (Saturday, 14 July 2018 07:32)

    Hi there! Nice blog! I'm having a bit of trouble with this post though... what exactly does 'two thumbs' mean?

  • #8

    Arantxa Mateo (Friday, 20 July 2018 02:33)

    Hi Javier!
    Two thumbs means the size or volume of your two big fingers put together. That's the size of that portion size.

    I hope that helps!

  • #9

    Franklyn (Friday, 07 June 2019 04:40)

    I'm unable to download the pdf. Could you try check if the link is down or something?

  • #10

    Arantxa Mateo (Friday, 07 June 2019 16:26)

    Hi Franklyn,

    Send me an email to arantxamateo@32mondays.com and I will send you the pdf.


  • #11

    Laurel (Tuesday, 03 March 2020 08:14)

    Is there such a thing as eating too much salad if your salad dressing doesnt contain any oil? I eat LOT of salad at lunch and dinner and am wondering if I'm doing more harm than good.