Stick to Serving Sizes

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Weight Loss
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

While appropriate food choices are essential for effective blood sugar control, quantity is just as stick to serving sizesimportant as quality. Overeating leads to weight gain, and excess weight is a known risk factor for insulin resistance and blood sugar problems.

Fortunately, determining how much you should eat is fairly easy. A majority of items purchased in food stores have the proper serving size printed on the nutrition facts label. This information is typically included in recipes as well. Just because you stick to the suggested serving sizes doesn’t mean that you have to waste food. Leftovers make for great snacks or, depending on the amount of food, another meal entirely.

Here are a few other portion guidelines you can follow. These are recommended individual serving sizes.


  • 3-4 ounces of fish, chicken, or meat = standard deck of playing cards
  • 1 ounce of cheese = a domino

Cooked pasta, rice, and beans:

  • ½ cup = half a baseball


  • Raw, 1 cup = a baseball
  • Cooked, ½ cup = half a baseball


  • A medium-sized piece = a tennis ball

Dried fruit:

  • ¼ cup = a golf ball

Sticking to any diet can be a challenge so here are a few other tips to help you get started and stay on track.

  1. Drink a full glass of water before meals. Drinking a full glass of water 15–30 minutes before meals will help make you feel fuller. This practice has also been shown to promote weight loss in several studies.
  2. Eat slowly. It takes a while for your brain to register feelings of satiety so make a conscious effort to chew your food several times before swallowing and try putting your fork down between bites to help you slow down.
  3. Fill up on vegetables or a little extra protein. If the above tips don’t work for you and you must eat more, then fill up on vegetables or a little extra protein.
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