Portion Size Chart

This is probably not a shock, but most of us eat too much. Here's the surprising part—we underestimate portions by at least 25 percent, meaning we could be eating hundreds of extra calories every day and not know it. The easiest fix? Right-size those portions and learn how to eat less. Below, we give you two comparisons—with everyday objects and parts of your hand—for a take-along system you can't beat.


1 tsp. butter or margarine

1 small bagel

1 cup beans

2 Tbsp. nuts or dried fruit

1 small muffin

a postage stamp or the tip of your thumb'

diameter of a hockey puck or your palm

a tennis ball or a cupped handful

a golf ball or a small cupped handful

the round part of a lightbulb or half of your fist

The Perfect Portion Looks Like This Or This
3 oz. meat a purse pack of tissues your outstretched palm
1-1/2 oz. cheese three dice your thumb
2 Tbsp. peanut butter a golf ball your thumb
1-oz. roll a bar of soap half of your palm
1 pancake or waffle diameter of a CD your palm plus 1/2 to 1 inch
3- by 3-inch piece of cake a pack of Post-It notes about 3/4 of your palm
1 Tbsp. oil or dressing a silver dollar the center of your cupped hand
1 cup pretzels or chips a tennis ball a cupped handful

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