How to Measure Food Portions to Lose Weight

When you go on a diet you can read and find out what a serving of a food should be, like: one serving of dried fruit is ¼ cup, and if you bunched that dried fruit together it would be about the size of a small egg. One potato that is the size of a normal computer mouse is a serving.

These serving size suggestions are helpful, but they are not exact, and if you want to lose weight then you are going to need to measure your food portions exactly. A food scale, measuring cups, and measuring spoons are three essential tools for getting proper portion sizes when you are dieting.

Measuring Meat

Your food scale is the best tool for measuring meat. You have likely heard that 3 ounces of meat is the same size as your fist, but the fist of a six foot tall woman is likely to be larger than the fist of a five foot tall woman, so whose fist should you consider to be the right size for a piece of meat?

You need a food scale that will accurately and quickly tell you the exact weight of a portion of meat. Then you have no guessing and you are not eating more calories than you wanted to.

Your meats should be weighed without skin or fat on it. You should eat healthy meats such as:

  • Boiled or broiled meat Chicken
  • Fish
  • Lean cuts of beef only once a week

Meat sources like lean beef, chicken and fish give you protein that your body needs, and your body has to work harder to burn protein so your body burns more calories breaking down protein than it would have burned if you had had a starchy carbohydrate.

Measuring Vegetables

A typical serving size for vegetables, either raw or cooked is 1 cup. If you are measuring raw leafy greens you can have 2 cups of them as a serving. Placing the vegetables into a measuring cup is the easiest way to make sure that you get a full one cup serving.

You can make some guesses on vegetables. Like:

  • 2 large stalks of celery equal one cup
  • One large ear of corn is equal to one cup
  • One large bell pepper is equal to one cup
  • One large tomato is equal to one cup
  • 2 medium size carrots equal one cup
  • Twelve baby carrots equal one cup
  • Three spears of broccoli equal one cup

All vegetables are not created equal. Vegetables that grow under-ground, like potatoes, onions, and carrots contain higher amounts of carbohydrates than vegetables that grow above-ground like cauliflower, broccoli, squash and tomatoes.

Eat smaller amounts of the vegetables that contain high levels of carbohydrates because your body turns carbohydrates into glucose and stores them as fat.


You should carefully read your bread package prior to buying. Most breads have a serving size of 1 slice. White breads are high in carbohydrates and contain very few ingredients your body needs for nutrition.

If you are going to eat bread chose a bread that is made from the whole grains, and then you will still have a serving size that is usually 1 slice.

Measuring Condiments

Measuring spoons are the only way to accurately get the right serving of condiments such as salad dressing. You can usually have 2 tablespoons of a salad dressing as a serving. It is very hard to get this proper amount without measuring. Most people actually give themselves less dressing than they could have had when they choose to guess instead of measure.

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