Perfect portion size for weight loss revealed… and all you need is your hand

IF you’re struggling to lose weight but you’re eating healthily, you may want to look at your portion control.

Most of us don’t really think about how much we’re eating – we’re so busy concentrating on what we stick in our mouths, we don’t consider how much we chow down on.

Do you know how much spaghetti you should be eating per meal?

While you can generally eat endless amounts of dark leafy greens, eating slightly too much chicken or potato regularly can lead to weight gain.

Which is why the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has come up with a helpful portion guide.

We’re all individual and our hunger and activity levels are all going to be slightly different.

While we all need the same kinds of nutrients, how much we need will differ from person to person.

It’s super easy to over-eat cheese

If you’re a 5’4” woman living with a 6’2” guy, you both need the same kinds of food but try to eat the same amount of each and one of you is going to balloon or become malnourished.

The proportion guide is based on a 2,000 kcal diet for average healthy adults.

Every day you should eat:

5+ portions: fruit and veg

3-4 portions: starchy carbs

2-3 portions: beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat

2-3 portions: dairy and alternatives

This is what a full day of eating should look like for most of us

Portion sizes:

2 handfuls of dried pasta shapes or rice (75g)

Two handfuls of pasta is all you need

A bunch of spaghetti the size of a £1 coin, measured using your finger and thumb (75g)

Only cook as much spaghetti as you can hold between your forefinger and thumb

The amount of cooked pasta or rice that would fit in two hands cupped together (180g)

Two cupped hands of cooked rice is enough

A baked potato about the size of your fist (220g)

A potato the size of your fist makes for a perfect lunch or dinner accompaniment

About 3 handfuls of breakfast cereal (40g)

Be careful with how much cereal you’re pouring into your bowl

A piece of grilled chicken breast about half the size of your hand (120g)

Chicken may be a good source of protein but you don’t need much of it

A piece of cheddar cheese about the size of two thumbs together (30g)

Cheese is really energy-dense so use your thumbs to determine how much of it you eat

About 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (20g)

Getty – Contributor

Use a spoon to measure out your daily portion of PB – not a knife…or your fingers![/caption]

About 3 teaspoons of soft cheese (30g)

Three teaspoons of cream cheese is enough

The BNF says: “If you’re tall or very active you may need more and could have larger portions. If you’re a small person or are trying to lose weight, you may need smaller portions.

“If you use the hand measures we give then portion sizes will vary with the size of your hands and so, generally, bigger people will automatically get bigger portions and smaller people will get smaller ones.”

The chances are, if you’re cooking too much food, you’re probably eating too much as well.

So next time you’re preparing dinner, forget weighing stuff out or going by the pot size.

You can use your hands to measure out how much of which ingredients to use – and it still works even if you’re preparing multiple meals.

Simply multiply your hand sizes by the number of meals or mouths you’re trying to feed.

If you’re cooking for a family of four, cook eight handfuls of dried pasta or rice, for example.

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