How Many Ounces Of Food Should I Eat Per Meal


How many ounces of food should i eat per meal? The lb/cu. Ft. to oz conversion is a way to convert the volume of a solid food into the number of ounces that you would normally find in a common household measuring container like t. Spoons, cups, or even lbs. Since many people prefer using the more common household measures it might be quite confusing at first glance converting to and from ounce when you can easily convert it to lbs.

Portion Control

One of the most overlooked aspects to weight loss is portion sizes. There’s a huge difference between consuming 1 plate vs having seconds. You’re literally taking in twice the calories. There’s also a huge difference between the portion sizes within a plate. For example: 1 and 2 cups of rice in a meal.

1 cup of rice contains roughly 242 calories. Double that to 2 cups and you’re looking at almost 500 calories. That’s a lot seeing as the daily recommended intake for adults is roughly 2000 calories (depending on many factors). But if you’re trying to lose weight, chances are you’ll need something closer to 1500 calories a day (depending on other factors such as BMR, muscle mass, weight, etc).

That means the rice you are in just 1 meal contains 1/3 of the total calories you should be eating THE ENTIRE DAY.

That doesn’t leave much room for anything else. Chances are you also (hopefully) have a form of protein and fat in your meal too. Maybe chicken and olive oil or something. Anyways, add a chicken breast and a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a single meal and you’re looking at around 1000 calories!

Now that’s arguably a healthy meal, lean protein from chicken, healthy fats from olive oil and carbs from rice.


The problem is you don’t just need to eat healthy to lose fat. You have to take in less calories than your body burns in a day!

One of the easiest ways to do this is by decreasing your portion sizes in every meal. Using only 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 cup of rice brings your meal down to around 500 calories – That’s more like it!

Eating three, 500 calorie meals in a day brings you too 1500 calories and for most people (without getting too technical) that’s more than enough to lose weight. Add some exercise in to burn more energy and increase your metabolic rate and you’re laughing!

Precision Nutrition came up with an AMAZINGLY EASY guide to determine your portion sizes for weight loss.

All it requires is your hand and your eyes. Using your hand to determine your relative portion size makes it simple and effective. Here’s how it works:


The size of the palm of your hand. This is the only macronutrient that you can actually have up to 2 palm sizes of (2 portions) in 1 meal.


Some examples: chicken breast, hamburger patty, cut of salmon, cut of steak


1 portion size is equal to the size of your hand cupped.

Some examples: handful of rice, half a potato, handful of pasta


1 portion size is equal to the size of your thumb. Some examples: slice of avocado, tablespoon of olive oil, tablespoon of peanut butter.



Most veggies are very low calorie, especially compared to the foods listed above. These are basically your unlimited food. The calories are low and because they take a while to digest it won’t make you very hungry wanting to down another meal with in an hour or so. If you’re gonna fill up on anything, it should be veggies.

Calculating Portion Sizes for Weight Loss

Scooping a portion onto a dinner plate
Lucy Lambriex / DigitalVision / Getty Images

If you have a weight loss goal, considering portion control in your diet may be helpful.  However, determining the optimal portion size can be challenging. Below, we explore how to become more mindful of portion sizes to help you reach your fitness goals.

What Is Portion Control?

Portion control is the act of being aware of the actual amount of food you eat and adjusting it based on its nutritional value and the goals of your eating plan. The simple truth is large or unbalanced portion sizes can easily undermine that weight loss efforts. It’s easy to end up with more than you realize on your plate.

Portion control can help you create a nutrient-dense eating pattern. By honing in on how food makes you feel, you can learn how to adjust your portion sizes of those foods accordingly. This knowledge is the cornerstone of building good eating habits, which will increase your chances of achieving your health goals.

Portion Size vs. Serving Size

There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between serving size and portion size. Put simply, serving size is what’s on the label, whereas portion size is what’s on your plate.

You’ll find the serving size for that food on the Nutrition Facts label on most packaged foods. Some people misconstrue the serving size for the amount they’re supposed to eat, but that’s not the case.

Serving size is a standard set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to describe “the amount of food customarily consumed in one sitting for that food.” It is used as a reference point to define the amount of food in relation to the nutritional information shown.

Portion size, on the other hand, is the amount of a specific food that you actually eat. It is often larger or smaller than the serving size on the nutrition label.

Let’s say, for example, that you regularly snack on microwave popcorn. A serving size according to the Nutrition Facts label is 3 cups. There are two servings in each full-size bag. If you eat the whole bag, your portion size is 6 cups—double the serving size and double the nutrition values.

Similarly, the recommended serving size of grapes is 1 cup or roughly 16 grapes. If you eat more or less than that, you’re consuming a different amount of nutrients than what is listed on the nutrition label for the 1-cup serving size.

This is true even with respect to certain diet apps that base their calculations on FDA serving sizes. Unless you have the reference values and make the appropriate adjustments—such as inputting eight grapes as a half-portion or 20 grapes as a 1.25-portion—the app will be of little benefit to your weight loss strategy.

How to Lose Weight by Portion Size Reduction

How to Lose Weight by Portion Size Reduction

Eating just 50 to 100 extra calories per day can add up to a 10-pound weight gain in a year. With too-large servings, it’s easy to consume more than you intend to, as portion size affects how much you eat. In a study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2002, people who were served a larger portion consumed more calories than when they were served a smaller portion of the same food. Reducing the size of the portions you eat can help you consume fewer calories and lose weight.

Determining Portion Size

The first step in determining what size portion you should consume for weight loss is to determine the portions you are currently serving yourself. Try writing down what and how much you eat for three days, including at least one weekend day. Check the serving sizes on the nutrition labels of the foods you eat as a starting point. Aim to reduce your portion sizes enough to reduce your daily calorie consumption by 500 to 1,000 calories per day, which will result in the recommended 1- to 2-pound weight loss per week.

Daily Requirements

Your exact requirements for each food group will depend on your gender, age and activity level, with women needing fewer servings than men. Adults need between 5 and 6.5 ounces of protein foods; 5 to 8 ounces of grains; 3 cups of dairy; 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit; and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. A 1.5-ounce serving of natural cheeses like cheddar or a 2-ounce serving of processed cheeses like American cheese counts as 1 cup of dairy. Divide these servings up between your meals and snacks each day to help you choose the proper portion sizes.

Measuring Portions

The most accurate way to determine how much you are eating is to weigh and measure your food before you eat it. You can also use tools to estimate approximate serving sizes, such as comparing your food to common objects. A woman’s fist is about the size of 1 cup of food, your palm is about the size of 3 ounces of meat and an ounce of cheese is about the same size as four dice. Divide your plate into four sections and fill one section with protein, one with grains or starchy vegetables, one with non-starchy vegetables and one with fruit or another non-starchy vegetable.

How to calculate portions with accuracy Weigh your food!

Weighing is the most accurate way to measure or calculate portion size. You can purchase a kitchen scale at most big box stores or online. We suggest investing in a digital scale as opposed to an old fashioned spring-loaded scale. The digital scales are easier to use and more accurate. With a digital scale, you can easily zero out the weight of the container as well as select different units of measure (e.g. grams, ounces, etc.). Serious about losing weight? Check out MyNetDiary and start weighing your food!

Measuring volume-Use measuring cups & spoons

Another approach to calculating portion size is to use measuring cups and spoons or a glass measuring cup to figure out volume (e.g. cups, fl oz, ml, etc). These items can be purchased at big box stores or online.

When measuring a liquid, it is easier, more accurate, and less messy if you use a measuring cup designed for liquids. See below for an example of this type of measuring cup.

When measuring the volume of a solid (e.g. flour, cereal, etc.), you can use standard measuring cups (if measuring weight is not an option). Level off the contents with the flat side of a knife to get an accurate measurement. Use metal or plastic measuring cups, whichever you prefer. Standard measuring cups look like those shown in the photo below.

For measuring very small amounts of liquids or solids, you can use measuring spoons. Level off solids with the flat side of a knife. Use metal or plastic measuring spoons – whichever you prefer. They look like the ones shown in the photo below.

Buy several sets of measuring cups and spoons. That way, you always have one clean and ready for measuring.

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