What’s a serving size?


Have you ever measured your food before to make sure you were eating the proper portion size?  I know this sounds like an odd question and maybe a slightly obsessive thing to do.  I used to think I would never measure my food, because, lets face it, measuring your food is extra work and it gets in the way of quickly getting food into your hungry belly.  However, with restaurants serving extra-large skewed portion sizes, many Americans have no idea what proper portions on a plate look like.

I was once one of these people, so when I started to live the “fit life” I restricted my portion sizes and saw results. As I continued through my fitness journey, I eventually decided that I was no longer trying to lose weight, but instead that I wanted to build lean muscle.  This is a whole different ball game.  I was struggling to build muscle mass with my restrictive portion sizes, and I was continuing to lose weight.  So, my personal trainer had me sit down and talk nutrition.  She showed me how you want to calculate your macro nutrient ratios using an online calculator and how to break that down into each of my six meals.  For a couple of weeks I continued to resist the measuring your food idea; however, I eventually gave in because she has yet to lead me astray of my training goals.  To my surprise, my problem was the opposite of most Americans.  I was not eating enough to obtain my goals.  So here are the serving size breakdowns:

  • Vegetables 1 cup or 2 cupped hands
  • Fruits 1/2 cup or 1 handful
  • Meat 3 oz or fits in the palm of your hands
  • Cooked Pasta or Rice 1 cup or 1 fist

Are your portions too big, too small, or Just right?  I encourage you find out, by measuring out your serving sizes at least once.  To measure out my portions I use measuring spoons, cups, and a food scale!  The food scale has become my best friend, because it makes measuring easy with less dishes!  If you find you have a skewed sense of a portion, then you can decide yourself if you want to measure your food out continuously.  Eventually, you should just be able to eye ball it!  Remember, a healthy diet with proper proportions is important to meeting your fitness goals and even your weight loss goals!


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