You’re making really great choices about the food you eat. You’re plate if full of lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and fruit. You are eating 5 meals a day. You’ve eliminated processed and junk foods from your diet.

But you’re still not losing weight.

Relax, there’s nothing wrong with you.

You’ve done really well at cleaning up your diet. I’m sure your body is feeling better and you have more energy. Now, you need to pay closer attention to what you are eating. Are you keeping a food log? Are you paying attention to serving sizes and measuring correct portions?

I know it’s not always practical to measure everything you eat, but you can make good estimates. Use the following tips to estimate how much you are eating. Write what you eat in a food log. I bet you’ll find that your portions were larger than you needed them to be or thought they were. Now, that weight is coming off.

Use these common items to estimate standard serving sizes:

  • poultry (3 oz.) = a deck of playing cards
  • fish (3 oz.) = a checkbook
  • hamburger (3 oz.) = a mayo jar lid
  • beef (3 oz.) = a bar of soap
  • fruit (medium) = a tennis ball
  • cereal, fibrous vegetables (1 c.) = a baseball
  • rice (1/2 c.) = an ice cream scoop
  • potato = a computer mouse
  • cooked pasta (1/2 c.) = a golf ball
  • dinner roll = a yo-yo
  • nuts (1 oz.) = a cupped palm
  • cheese (1 oz.) = a ping-pong ball
  • salad dressing (2 Tbsp.) = a shot glass
  • peanut butter (1 tsp.) = one die
  • butter (1 tsp.) = a Scrabble tile

Another useful way to estimate a correct portion for main meals is to divide your plate into quarters. Use half of the plate for of vegetables, a quarter of the plate for lean protein and a quarter for whole grains. Plate size is important. A base estimate is a plate with a 9 inch diameter. Adjust according to your size.