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.


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



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)


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



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


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

Share This Post
Get Adobe Flash player