In the value-conscious society we live in today, we tend to get in the mindset of getting the most for our money and cleaning our plate.  Therefore, when we eat out at a restaurant or go to a social event, we may eat more than we should.  Over time, we may lose sight of what a healthy portion may be since most restaurants serve 2-3 times the healthy portion size of most foods.  It is important to be conscious of healthy portion sizes to prevent unnecessary overeating that can lead to short-term discomfort, and long-term weight gain.

Use these guidelines to get your portion sizes under control:

1.) Meats and Protein:  Most meats have a healthy portion size of 3 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards, or about 1/2 cup diced. The average person should have about 6-9 ounces of protein a day.

2.) Fruits:  A medium-sized piece of fruit is a healthy portion size is about the size of a baseball.  A healthy portion size of diced fruit, fruit juice, or applesauce is about 1/2 cup.  The average person should have about 2 pieces of fruit or 1-1.5 cups of fruit a day.

3.) Vegetables: One cup leafy greens or salad greens, 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, or a medium-sized baked or sweet potato (about 3.5-4 inches long, 2 inches wide) are healthy portion sizes of vegetables. The average person should have about 2-3 cups of vegetables a day.

4.) Bread, rice, grains, beans, and pasta: One slice of bread about 1/2-inch thick, 1/2 cup cooked pasta, beans, grains such as quinoa, or rice, or 1 small 4-inch diameter tortilla are healthy portion sizes of bread and grain products.  The average person should limit themselves to about 5-6 portions of bread, rice, beans, and grains, and pasta per day.

5.) Dairy products: One cup of milk, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, or 1/2 cup ice cream are healthy portion sizes.  The average person should consume at least 3 servings of reduced-fat dairy products a day.