If you’re eating healthily but still struggling to lose weight, part of the problem is likely to be the larger servings of food that are now considered ‘normal’. When it comes to what’s on your plate, size matters, so we’ve put together 5 at-a-glance portion size guides to make it easy to recognise healthy serving sizes.
From breakfast and mains to sides, snacks, fruit and veg, check out these 5 downloadable guides and get to know your portion sizes.
*Breakfast should provide around 400 calories in total.
We’ve based our typical breakfast serving sizes on a combination of those recommended by health organisations such as The British Nutrition Foundation and those seen on packaging. For some foods that come in a set unit (eggs, bacon rashers, sausages, chops, chicken breasts, slices of bread, etc) we’ve provided the weight and calorie information for just one item, because you may want to mix and match with other foods on your plate. This will help you stay within your calorie target for the meal.
Find the full breakfast portion sizes PDF.
Mains: meat, fish and poultry
*Lunches and dinners should provide around 600 calories each as a general rule.
Find the full meat, fish and poultry portion sizes PDF.
Mains: meat-free protein and sides
Find the full meat-free mains and sides portion sizes PDF.
Snacks, treats and desserts
*Allow around 200 calories a day for treats and 200 calories for healthy snacks
Focus on the food. Mindless eating, where we are distracted, can mean we consume huge portions of food without even realising. The solution is easy: pay full attention to each and every mouthful. That means sitting at a table, using a plate and cutlery, chewing every mouthful well and employing a digital detox (no TV, computer, smartphone or any other screen to distract you). Remaining 100% focused on the food means you’ll eat more slowly and eat less as a result.
Fruit and veg
*There‘s one group of foods we should eat more of, not less. That’s why Public Health England recommends 5-a-day, made up of a combination of fruit and veg.
On average, adults manage only four of their five daily portions (and teenagers only three). It‘s important to remember all fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruit and veg count towards your daily target. You can include pulses, chickpeas and lentils, too – although these only count as one portion no matter how much you eat because nutritionally they’re more similar to meat, poultry, fish and eggs than fruit and veg. As potatoes are a starchy food, they don‘t count towards your 5-a-day and each portion should weigh 80g (or 30g if it‘s dried fruit).