Fitness Challenge: Your Food Portion Cheat Sheet

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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Latest posts by Heather Montgomery (see all)

Food portions are a huge part of any weight loss discussion. How much of what and when can you eat it?

This past week I was down for the count with what I’m calling a “bad cold”. There is nothing that will take you out faster than the lack of being able to eat. No energy, feeling like crap, and on top of that worrying about all the triathlon training that is now falling behind. Let’s just say that I learned the hard way that you do NOT want to workout when you have nausea.

That may not have been the kindest introduction to talking about food, but after chicken broth and saltines for 2 days, I’m all up for some real food goodness.

Are your food portions in control?

Let’s say you are all about making healthy eating choices. You try to eat mostly whole foods… you know, the stuff that doesn’t require industrial packaging. And of course you drink plenty of water.

This is the number one question I get shortly after sharing that I lost 80 pounds. A huge part of my success was eating real portions. With bagels the size of Frisbees, you are not the only one trying to figure this stuff out.

The gang over at have this handy reference to try and keep food portion in control. It’s very easy to fill our bowl, plate, or platter to overflow. The space is there, why not fill it up?

Most of us know the size of a tennis ball, baseball and ping pong ball. How much cereal should you have? About 2 tennis balls worth. Want a serving of rice or pasta? Shoot for an amount that is about 1/2 a baseball.

I can’t say I’m thrilled to see ice cream on the list, but I do appreciate the size reference being totally realistic. If you really want a scoop, be sure to savor the 1/2 baseball size portion!

Your Portion Cheat Sheet

Your food portion goal this week? Be aware.

Paying attention is the hard part of making change. Be aware. Stay conscious what we are feeding ourselves at our quick meals that we are squeezing into our crazy days. Add your comment… what food portion annoys you the most?

Go get your fit on – Heather
Source: Your Portion Cheat Sheet infographic by vococreative.


  • There are many… thanks for my next post idea :) And thanks for a wonderful Saturday night catching up! It was WAY overdue… hugs!

  • kellyswanson1

    Great post Heather! I thought I knew what a reasonable portion size was. Nope! Now I see how way off I was. Great cheat sheet! Thanks for sharing!

    • You are not alone girl! I’m always surprised – especially with pasta/rice – how little a “serving” is. Welcome to the Dream Team Kelly!