Health Advocate Blog

Ask a Health Advocate: What are some ways I can control my portions?

Watching portions can be one of the hardest parts about eating healthier. It is easy to underestimate how much you eat, which can affect your ability to maintain a healthy weight. To control your portions, try some of the following tips!

Use your plate to help you out!

  • Use a 9-inch plate to limit your portions
  • Fill ½ of your plate with non-starchy vegetables and/or fruit, such as spinach or berries
  • Fill ¼ of your plate with lean protein, such as turkey or chicken ( a 2 to 3-ounce cooked portion)
  • Fill ¼ of your plate with whole grains and starchy vegetables, such as brown rice or a sweet potato

Learn to eyeball correct portion sizes

Serving sizes for different foods:

  • 1 cup raw vegetables = 1 baseball
  • 1 ounce bread = 1 CD case
  • 1 ounce meat = 1 matchbook
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter = 1 golf ball
  • 1 ounce of cheese = 4 dice
  • 1 teaspoon of oil = 1 penny

For more easy-to-remember measurements, see this handout.

Measure what you’re eating and remember what an actual portion of that food looks like.

Measure out what your “normal” portions are and then measure what an actual portion should be based off of the serving size on the package. Note the difference and remember it for the future!

Remember your goals when eating out.

  • Restaurant portions are much larger than what you would serve yourself at home.
  • Order a smaller size option, split your meal in half and take the second half home in a to-go container, or try sharing your entrée!

For more information on making sure your portion sizes are correct, visit

Want more help with learning to control your portions? If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for more tips on how to cut portions.

Have a question for a Health Advocate? Email, and your question may be the topic of an upcoming “Ask a Health Advocate” column!