Connect
To Top


Figuring Out Proper Portion Sizes


The most challenging thing you will face when it comes to counting macros is figuring out the proper portion sizes when you’re eating out.

It’s nice, in the comforts of your own home, to weigh, measure and prep your food to the exact specifications necessary. Unfortunatly, it won’t always work out perfectly no matter how hard you try. It’s important to come up with ways to minimize the damage so hopefully these breakdowns and guides will help you. Keep this page handy so when the time comes to figure out the right portion sizes, you’ll be ready.

These are simply ways to ESTIMATE your portion sizes. They are not 100% accurate however they provide you with a standard baseline.

Protein

If you want to know the benefits of protein check it out here. Assuming you don’t have a scale, here’s how you would figure out the right portion size.

For Women: The size and thickness of one palm is equal to one serving. That would equateScreen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.29.44 AM to roughly 20-30 grams of protein.

For Men: The size and thickness of two palms is equal to one serving. That would equate to roughly 40-60 grams of protein.

High Protein Foods and Amounts of Protein (these foods are not necessarily a serving size)

  • 1 large egg = 6 grams
  • 3.5 oz of chicken = 30 grams
  • 4 oz hamburger = 28 grams
  • 6 oz steak = 42 grams
  • Most cuts of beef is 7 grams per ounce.
  • 6 oz can of tuna = 40 grams
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese = 15 grams

 

Carbohydrates

Whole Grains

Whole grains like oats, quinoa, pasta and rice are high in fiber and nutrients. They are NOT bad for you unless you consume TOO MUCH. Anytime you eat a carb pair it with a fat or a protein source to slow down digestion and keep blood sugar levels stable.

One serving size = The size of your fistScreen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.29.21 AM

Whole Grain Carbohydrate Foods and Amounts of Carbohydrates (these foods are not necessarily a serving size)

  • 1/2 Cup Brown Rice = 22 grams
  • 1/2 Cup Oatmeal = 27 grams
  • 1 Rice Cake = 20 grams
  • 2 Slices Sprouted Grain Bread = 30 grams
  • 1/2 ezekiel cinnamon raisin muffin = 18 grams

Vegetables

You should be eating these all day, every day. There is no restrictions for fibrous carbohydrates. Eat Starchy Carbohydrates in moderation.

Fibrous Carbs

One Serving of Fibrous Carbs = Two handfuls cupped togetherScreen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.29.52 AM

Fibrous Carbohydrates Foods (these foods are not necessarily a serving size)

  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Squash
  • Asparagus
  • Green Beens
  • Cucumbers

Starchy Carbs

One Serving of Starchy Carbs = The size of your fistScreen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.29.21 AM

Starchy Carbohydrate Foods (these foods are not necessarily a serving size)

  • 1 Medium Potato = 37 grams
  • 1 Cup of Yams = 42 grams
  • 1 Cup Sweet Potatos = 27 grams
  • 1 Ear of Sweet Corn = 17 grams
  • 1 Cup of Chickpeas = 121 grams (yes 121)
  • 1 Cup of Green Peas = 21 grams

Fruit

Fruit is full of antioxidants and nutrients. It’s also full of fructose so definitely don’t abuse it. I will say this, there are a handful of alarmists that claim fruit is, essentially, the devil.

It’s not. Just be smart about it and pair it with a fat or protein source.

One Serving of Fruit = The size of your fistScreen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.29.21 AM

Fruit and Amounts of Carbohydrates (these foods are not necessarily a serving size)

  • 1 Medium Banana = 27 grams
  • 1 Small Orange = 11 grams
  • 1 Medium Apple = 25 grams
  • 1/2 Medium Grapefruit = 10 grams
  • 1 Cup Whole Strawberries = 11 grams
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries = 10 grams
  • 1 Cup Pineapple = 22 grams

 

Fats

Good fat is great for you. To read more about it, click here. Fat is probably the hardest macro to estimate. You’ll find out real quick that not a lot of fat equates to a serving and it can become very EASY to over eat fat sources. Also note that fat is the most caloric dense food so the more you eat the more calories you consume. Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.30.06 AM

One Serving of Fat = The tip of your thumb

Fats and Amounts of Healthy Fats (these foods are not necessarily a serving size)

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil = 14 grams
  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil = 14 grams
  • 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter = 8 grams
  • 1 tablespoon of natural almond butter = 9.5 grams
  • 23 almonds or 1/4 cup = 14 grams

 

 

Here are a few graphs that will give you a better understanding of SERVING SIZES

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.30.26 AM

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-27 at 8.31.00 AM

 

I’ll recap this quickly. You won’t always be able to weigh/measure your food. The better you get at eye balling the easier it will be to eat the right amounts. The charts above give you a few different ways to figure out the right serving sizes. For example, fat can be the size of your thumbnail or the size of a poker chip. Two options for you 🙂

I have laid out common food sources with their macro breakdown. If you have more or less, just adjust the numbers.

Don’t be super neurotic about this. These are just estimates to allow you to make better/healthier choices without having to measure anything.

Do me a huge favor, please share this with your friends and family as this is a very popular question I hear weekly. You rock!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Nutrition

  • How To Fix Skinny Fat

    As my business has evolved and my site begins to expand, the one thing I will...

    Dave DreasJuly 5, 2016
  • Random Fat Loss Tidbits

    It’s been overly hot in Phoenix so I’ve been cramped up inside my house all day....

    Dave DreasJune 22, 2016
  • The Truth About Fasted Cardio

    I’ve never been an early morning cardio person so this particular topic wasn’t applicable to me...

    Dave DreasJune 19, 2016
  • How Much Water Should You Drink Daily?

    It’s been SOO hot here in Phoenix that spending time in the pool sounds like a...

    Dave DreasJune 16, 2016
  • Can You Get Ripped Through Diet Alone?

    Good question. Context is key in answering this. To make it simple. Yes, you can get...

    Dave DreasJune 3, 2016
  • Understanding Fiber

    “What’s the deal with Fiber?” You’ve probably wondered that or possibly even “spoken” that exact phrase....

    Dave DreasFebruary 14, 2016
  • Diet Soda VS Regular Soda

    The consumption of sugar sweetened beverages has increased dramatically in the past decade and that parallels...

    Dave DreasJanuary 7, 2016
  • How To Survive Eating At Chipotle

    I go to Chipotle, a lot. I love it. Best of all, it can be incorporated...

    Dave DreasOctober 5, 2015
  • Pondering A Detox? Read This First

    Hindsight is always 20/20, so it’s easy to look back at trends that have popped up...

    Dave DreasSeptember 2, 2015