Food & Recipes

This Handy Chart Shows How You Should Be Portioning Your Meals

This is super helpful. Do your portion sizes match up with the recommended amount?

Everyone knows that both diet and exercise are essential parts of weight loss. But there’s another key component if you’re looking to shed some extra pounds — portion control.

Even if you’re choosing healthy foods, you can still overeat. And while there are a variety of apps to help you keep track of how much food you’re eating, continuing to measure or weigh your meals can be tedious, which may lead to you skipping that crucial part of your diet plan.

To make it easier, you can actually use something you already have to quickly measure portions — your own hand. Online coach and Instagram user iqphysique96 shared a chart on Instagram that shows just how easy it is to quickly measure your meals in the palm of your hand.

Take a look at how to use this measurement method.

All food contains calories. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. You know how many calories you are eating if you use a food scale and MyFitnessPal. The problem is that not everyone can adhere to that method of tracking food intake. For some people, using a portion-size method is less stressful. It consists of estimating portions for each meal. – – I suggest that you use this method and choose on the higher end of the portion ranges if you are a larger man and on the lower end if you are a smaller female. Then stick to specific portions. For example, every meal, I may eat 2 palms of a protein source, 1 fist of veggies, 2 handfuls of carbs, 1 thumb of fat, and maybe a fruit. – – I stick to those portions for each meal!!! Only when my weight stalls for 2-3 weeks will I remove a portion. For example, to overcome a plateau, I may only eat 1 handful of a carb source in 2 of my meals instead of eating 2 handfuls in every meal. Try this out and stay consistent my friends. – – #fitfam#fitspo#fit#iifym#flexibledieting#fitspiration#gains#gainz#workout#weightlifting#nutrition#fitness#instahealth#macros#fitnessjourney#fitlife#naturalbodybuilding#bodybuilder#muscle#fitnessaddict#eatclean#healthy#healthyfood#healthylifestyle#healthyeating#weightloss#fatloss#diet

A post shared by Hamaad, BS in Exercise Science (@iqphysique96) on

In the post, iqphysique96 suggests that large men use the higher end of the range (like two palms of protein and two handfuls of carbs), while smaller women use the lower end, like only one fist of veggies.

This chart from Color Me Healthy further explains the idea, giving more specific measurements on just what the portion size actually is. For example, one palm-sized portion of protein is equal to about three ounces. That means men will get around six ounces of protein, while women should stick to three.

meat and potatoes photo
Flickr | wuestenigel

While the chart does include a fat serving (which should only be the size of your thumb!), it does not include snack and dessert sizes.

Still, it’s easy enough to measure things like ice cream — though you might not like what you hear. While we would obviously all love to think a serving of ice cream is about five palm fulls, in reality, it’s only half a cup — or about four ounces, a little bit more than one palm. Bummer!


Of course, calories also matter, so make sure you’re getting enough food and meeting your caloric needs. Very Well Fit offers a handy calculator to figure out how many calories you should be consuming each day.

Have you ever used this method of measuring, or do you have another method that works for you?