How to Control Your Food Portions

Sizes for everything from fruits to soft drinks have gotten larger in the past 20 years. It’s not enough to eat the right kinds of food to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight. If you are a healthy eater, it is possible to sabotage your efforts by eating more than the recommended amount of food. A serving is a specific amount of food, and it might be smaller than you realize.

Here are some examples:

  • A serving of meat (boneless , cooked weight) is two to three ounces.
  • A serving of chopped vegetables or fruit is 1/2 cup.
  • A serving of fresh fruit is one medium piece, or the size of a baseball.
  • A serving of cooked pasta, rice, or cereal is 1/2 cup.
  • A serving of cooked beans is 1/2 cup.
  • A serving of nuts is 1/3 cup.
  • A serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons.

No matter which diet you choose, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any type of eating plan. You might want to ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietician (RD) who can help you. You might also want to enlist the help of a family member or friend to give you support and help you stay on track. Try to have some fun learning new recipes and different ways to cook!

The Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Department of Agriculture released the new dietary guidelines and food pyramid.

For information about the dietary guidelines and the food pyramid, go to

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