Portion size matters!

Updated: Nov 14

Portion size is really important as too much or too little can increase the risk of health problems. For a healthy lifestyle you need to know more about the size of your portions, because it can be responsible for weight gain or problems such as heart attack or atherosclerosis.

How many calories you need each day to lose or maintain your weight depends on your age, weight, metabolism, whether you are male or female, how active you are, and other factors

Calories are the first thing that your body needs. It’s essential as it provides the energy to keep the body functions healthy.

The daily guidelines established by the UK government in nutrition for a man should be 2500 calories and 2000 calories for a woman


They are an essential source of energy that your body needs: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and oats

Recommended portion for carbohydrates:

  • 1 medium slice of bread Pasta (boiled)

  • 2-3 tablespoons Rice (boiled)

  • 2-3 tablespoons

  • 1 medium baked potato (with skin)

  • Breakfast cereal: 3 tablespoons

  • Porridge oats: 3 tablespoons

Always choose whole grain food, and always check the ingredients to avoid the sugar hidden in the bread or cereals

According to the NHS Eatwell guide people should try to:

  • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day

  • Base meals on higher fibre starchy foods like potatoes, bread, rice or pasta

  • Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks)eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein

  • Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts

  • Drink plenty of fluids (at least 6 to 8 glasses a day)

Fruit and vegetables

They are a good source of vitamins and minerals and fibre, and should make up just over a third of the food you eat each day.

Try to eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day (fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced)

People who eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day have a lower risk of getting cancer, heart disease or stroke!

Milk and dairy food (or alternatives)

Milk and dairy foods, such as cheese and yoghurt, are good sources of protein. They also contain calcium, which helps keep your bones healthy.

Go for lower fat and lower sugar products where possible.

Choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk, as well as lower fat hard cheeses or cottage cheese, and lower fat, lower sugar yoghurt.

Dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks, are also included in this food group.

When buying alternatives, choose unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.

Proteins: fish, eggs, meat, fish etc.

These foods are all good sources of protein and provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals (essential for the body to grow and repair itself).

Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals (iron, zinc and B vitamins). It is also the main sources of vitamin B12.