Portion Size Guide – Too much, too little or just right?

You know me, I LOVE food and think you should be able to eat what you feel like – it’s the moodie way. But even if you’re a relatively healthy eater, you may be eating too much of a good thing. Upsizing meals, bigger plates, mucho amazing choice and years of our Mum’s telling us to finish our dinner can be dangerous to the waist line. So I’ve put together a handy little portion guide so you can decide if you’re eating too much, too little or it’s just right.

Get comfortable with these portion sizes and then you can tell yourself to finish your dinner!

Each value is for 1 serve.

Vegetables (about 80g)

  • Cooked – ½ cup
  • Raw – 1 cup
  • Green leafy – 1 cup
  • Potato    – 1 small-medium
  • Tomato – 1 medium

Fruit (about 150g)

  • Fresh – 1 medium or 2 small
  • Dried – 4 apricot halves or prunes (about 30g)
  • Canned (in fruit juice) – 1 cup diced


  • Milk (low fat or skim) – 1 cup
  • Yogurt    (light, low fat) – ½ cup
  • Cheese (reduced fat) – 30g (size of a matchbox)
  • Cheese (ricotta or cottage) – ½ cup


  • Bread (multigrain) – 1 slice (about 40g)
  • Bread roll – ½ roll
  • Rice (cooked) – ½ cup
  • Pasta (cooked) – ½ cup
  • Quinoa     – ½ cup
  • Buckwheat, bulghur, polenta, barley – ½ cup
  • Legumes (cooked) – ½ cup
  • Cereal (including muesli, oats) – ½ cup

Lean Protein

  • Meat (beef, lamb, poultry, pork) – 120g-150g (the size of your palm)
  • Fish (fresh) – 180g (the size of your whole hand)
  • Fish (canned) – 80g
  • Tofu – 120g
  • Eggs –     2 large eggs
  • Legumes (cooked chickpeas, lentils, split peas) – ½ cup

Healthy Fats

  • Avocado – 30g (about 3 slices)
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Cheese – 30g (size of a matchbox)
  • Nuts and Seeds – 30g (small handful)

Five Handy Portion Control Tips

  1. Did you know that our dinner plates have increased from 25½ cm to 30½cm over the last 50 years? It may not sound like much but it can increase what we’re eating at dinner by 50-70%! Choose a smaller plate for your meals and you’ll naturally eat less.
  2. If you need something sweet (and sometimes you just HAVE to), serve it in a small ramekin or bowl with a teaspoon. Smaller bowls with smaller cutlery keep you smaller. It’s psychological game playing but sometimes you just have to do that too! I know I do. It works.
  3. Say ‘No’ to upsizing and the upsell. It doesn’t matter if it’s only going to cost you $1 more for the gynormous burger and fries – it’s only going on your waist, bum and thighs. Save a dollar and feel good that you’ve done something great for yourself.
  4. Eat slowly. I know that it’s been said a kazillion times but it does work. If you eat slowly you give your tummy time to catch up with your brain.
  5. Eat mindfully. If you sit at the table, turn off all electronic equipment and actually take notice of what you are eating, not only will you enjoy it more, you’ll eat more slowly, be aware of when you are full and you’ll never get the end of a meal thinking “what did I just eat?”.

Eat for Health provides good guides on how many serves of what you should be eating per day, so if you’re interested take a look:

How are you with portion sizing? I really have to keep an eye on it as I’m prone to eating more when I get emotional!



  • http://www.whatsonthelist.net/ Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day and thanks for your post today, true!
    When it comes to portion sizes, I think most people have no clue!
    Weighing foods doesn’t seem to be a lot of people’s thing…and yes less is more re energy and in being healthy!
    Cheers! Joanne

  • Jay – Moodie Foodie

    It’s good to have a reminder every now and then isn’t it? I have to remind myself every other day!

  • Pamela Mullins

    I with you Jay, I to am emotional eater and so your portion control is going to be printed and pasted in my kitchen, sewing room and my lounge room.!!! and perhaps the guest room for those coming to stay.
    Thank you Jay

  • Cathy Rocker

    I learned a lot from the details ! Does anyone know where I would be able to grab a sample MD Health Birth Form copy to fill in ?


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