12 Easy Ways to Estimate Serving Sizes

By: The editors of Men’s Health

How large is 3 ounces of steak? What about an ounce of cheese or half a cup of spaghetti? Doling out food portions for a recipe or a diet plan is always a crapshoot—it’s hard to tell 3 ounces from 10. Worse, we simply shovel down our chow until our plates are empty and it’s time to leave the table. To help you monitor how much food you put in your mouth, a team of nutritionists helped Men’s Health compile a dozen easy conversions for standard servings. Just keep in mind that nutritional information will vary by brand and type of food. And for another great weight-loss tool, download the Eat This, Not That! iPhone app.

 

Sausage
Food portion: 1 oz sausage link
Nutritional info: 54 cal, 5 g fat
Same size as: Shotgun shell

 

 

Butter
Food portion: 1 tsp butter
Nutritional info: 34 cal, 4 g fat
Same size as: Tip of thumb

Mashed Potatoes
Food portion: 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
Nutritional info: 112 cal, 5 g fat
Same size as: Half an apple

 

 

Swiss Cheese
Food portion: 1 oz cubed Swiss cheese
Nutritional info: 107 cal, 8 g fat
Same size as: Four dice

 

 

Cooked Spaghetti
Food portion: 1/2 cup cooked spaghetti
Nutritional info: 99 cal, 1 g fat
Same size as: Fist

 

Ice Cream
Food portion: 1/2 cup ice cream
Nutritional info: 143 cal, 7 g fat
Same size as: Tennis ball

 

 

Chicken Soup
Food portion: 1 cup chicken-noodle soup
Nutritional info: 175 cal, 6 g fat
Same size as: Baseball

 

Blue-Cheese Dressing
Food portion: 2 Tbsp blue-cheese dressing
Nutritional info: 154 cal, 16 g fat
Same size as: Golf ball

 

 Dry Spaghetti
Food portion: 4 oz dry spaghetti
Nutritional info: 422 cal, 2 g fat
Same size as: The diameter of a quarter (when held tightly together and viewed from the end)

 

Lasagna
Food portion: 8 oz lasagna
Nutritional info: 270 cal, 8 g fat
Same size as: Two hockey pucks

 

 

Mozzarella
Food portion: 1 oz mozzarella
Nutritional info: 80 cal, 6 g fat
Same size as: Ping-Pong ball

 

Beef
Food portion: 3 oz beef
Nutritional info: 219 cal, 13 g fat
Same size as: Deck of cards

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