All About Healthy Portion Sizes

Healthy Portion Size

Ingredient 101

Stephanie Kanoeola Megumi Wong

It’s Easy –

Eating healthy (and understanding portion size) doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. The rules, the restrictions, and the mathematical measurements can really make the action of eating sound like some complicated formula for finding world peace.

The truth is, we can make this journey as complicated or as easy as we’d like. However, we never really stop and give ourselves the credit that WE ARE smart, intelligent, strong, and capable people. So what do we do instead? We gravitate towards the quick fixes, the latest diet trends, or give up altogether because it’s overwhelming.

Hello McFly…


While you struggle with the concept of “choosing” one or the other, I’m going to give you permission to have it all. Instead of “searching” for quick-fixes, you have to shift your focus towards the stuff that’s going to last a lifetime and learn tools that you’ll use every day.

Simple. Delicious. Fun. Whole. Real.

Although we don’t promote calorie counting, we do feel that you need to have a basic understanding of how much food YOU ARE consuming and how much “caloric energy” is in each serving. The best place to start is to actually record your food for a few days (like our food journal sheets in the “21-Day Eat Real Challenge“).You’ll be amazed at how much you actually are eating. You may even begin to notice patterns in your eating habits.

To sprinkle in some FUN and to help you understand PORTION SIZE, I took a few snapshots of familiar objects (around your desk) that will help you “get the picture.” Besides, who really knows what a 4 oz. piece of chicken is, or ¼ cup of almonds is, or how much one serving of ice cream should really look like?

Grasp These Basics

Portion Size Chicken Breast
Portion Size Chicken Breast Comparison
Portion Size Leafy Greens
Portion Size Almonds
Portion Size Feta Cheese
Portion Size Dark Chocolate
Portion Size Quinoa
Portion Size Starchy Veggies
Portion Size Ice Cream
Portion Size Yogurt
Portion Size Chips

Desk Object Equivalent Food Estimated Calories
iPhone 4 oz. Chicken Breast ~130 calories
iPhone 4 oz. Steak ~200 calories
iPhone 4 oz. Salmon ~130 calories
Coffee Mug 1 cup Kale ~30 calories
Coffee Mug 1 cup Lettuce ~16 calories
Pencil 1/4 cup Almonds ~160 calories
Pencil Sharpener 1 oz. Feta Cheese ~75 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Quinoa ~111 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Brown Rice ~108 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Beets ~37 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Sweet Potato ~90 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Carrots ~26 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Ice Cream ~220 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Frozen Yogurt ~110 calories
Mini Mouse 1/2 cup Plain 0% Greek Yogurt ~65 calories
Pay Check 13 pieces Chips ~150 calories
Business Card 20 grams 85% Dark Chocolate ~120 calories


Make things simple for yourself, learn the basics, apply it to your own life, and keep it creative. If you haven’t checked out the “21-Day Eat Real Challenge: Spring/Summer Edition” – that might be a great place to start. Even if you already eat healthy, don’t have bad food habits, have no desire to cleanse your body for one week (while still eating food), then maybe you’d be curious about the simple and delicious recipes – like creamy homemade Orange Creamsicle Julius (dairy-free), Holly’s Energy Bites, or a Nectarine Prosciutto Pizza (with a homemade crust).


Thanks for reading! My name is Stephanie Wong and I am a certified holistic health & nutrition coach, home-grown natural food cook, lover of all things ginger, and a strong believer that strength is beauty. [read more...]


  1. This is great! What a great way to recognize healthy portion sizes. Thanks!

    • stephanie says:

      Hi Paula. Thanks for the love! We definitely like to use resources we have AND know that will help us all eat a little healthier. Stay tuned for more!

  2. j3nn says:

    Eyeopening, isn’t it? Before I learned how to count calories and use a food scale I had a pretty good idea of what a serving was–or so I thought! I LOLed at the measly chips portion. So pitiful! Ugh.

  3. Em says:

    Wow! Great visuals on this!! Thank you!

  4. LHJP2012 says:

    I love your site and really enjoyed the Eat Real Challenge! However this one post has confused me a little. Is one serving supposed to fill you up? Half a cup of quinoa or brown rice just isn’t enough to satisfy. I wonder if you could clarify how many servings make a meal.

    • stephanie says:


      Great question. The healthy portion post, is more about understanding what a typical portion size should be. 1/2 cup of brown rice or quinoa alone will definitely not fill me up either. However, if you mix that with the 2 cups of greens (in the same dish or separate) with a serving of fish or meat, you’ll be set. The sushi bowl recipe (at the bottom) is an example of how all of the serving sizes come together. I will DEFINITELY pull together a follow-up post about WHAT MAKES UP A MEAL. Great question…we are ALWAYS open to feedback.

      Oh and thanks for checking out the EAT REAL CHALLENGE too. The next one will be coming out shortly…with more articles and interactive features for the iPad.

      eat life whole,

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