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Portion Control: It's All in Your Hands

Portion Control: It's All in Your Hands

We all know that portion control is the key to healthy eating as well as losing and maintaining weight. When you are about to bite into a nice chunk of cheese, it is hard to recall just exactly how big four dice actually are. Four dice is about the equivalent oh a portion of cheese, but who keeps dice in their pockets?

According to Jennifer Nelson, director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic, all you really need as a portion serving cheat sheet is your hands, fingers and thumbs.

To see how Nelson told Men's Health how hands can guide you through the jungle of portion control, just


  • Two fingers = 1 serving of cheese
  • Open palm = 1 serving of meat
  • Closed fist = 1 serving of fruit or vegetables
  • Cupped hand = 1 serving of cereal or grain
  • Tip of thumb = 1 serving of margarine, oil, or salad dressing
  • Thumb = 1 serving of candy


Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 8 years
How do you measure dry spaghetti in the palm of your cupped hand? I usually measure stuff in an actual cup or spoon or whatever, but this is handy for if you're eating out somewhere.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i like when portions are put into terms that i can easily recognize. a palm size or something like that is much more relatable to me rather than 10 ounces or 1/2 cup - especially if you don't have something that can easily measure things for you.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Neat :)
Nora22 Nora22 8 years
I agree that it IS helpful most of the time, but still, especially with cheese, how does one slice measure up? You can't compare a slice to 4 dice ... or can you? is one slice = 1 serving?
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I think portion control, i.e. knowing what constitutes a serving, is really important. I didn't know until I worked with a trainer. It changed my life.
vitvit vitvit 8 years
for each of those, what does 1 serving equal in ounces?
iuliasuavis iuliasuavis 8 years
I think that this could be really helpful in some situations. It would be kind of awkward comparing your palm and your meal in a restaurant, though.
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