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How to Measure Palm Portion Sizes

Controlling portion sizes is one of the keys to permanent weight loss 12. Many restaurants serve huge food portions, so it can be challenging to strike a balance between what's on the plate and what's a healthy amount to consume. But whether you're eating out or at home, using palm portions to estimate appropriate serving sizes puts weight loss success at your fingertips.

Hold out your hand, palm up and fingers outstretched. One serving of protein such as fish, chicken or steak is about the size of your palm. Not your whole hand—just your palm.

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Cup your hand with the tip of your thumb pressed to the middle joint of your index finger and your fingers curled a little. The resulting hollow holds one portion of nuts—about 1 oz.

Relax your hand, but keep it loosely cupped. Whatever you can fit inside of the bowl your hand is a proper serving size for popcorn, pretzels or chips.

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Stick out your thumb. From tip to base is the correct size for one serving of cheese. Look at the part of your thumb from the tip to the first knuckle—Meals Matter says that's about one serving of peanut butter.

Make a fist. The Women’s Heart Health Foundation says that's about the size of a proper portion of cooked pasta, rice or sliced fruit or vegetables. It's also a model size for cereal and whole fruits.


Use these rules of thumb to maintain control over your portions when you eat out.


Use your own hand to measure your portions. It’s cheating to use someone who has larger hands.