What’s the Difference Between Serving Size and Portion Size?

Healthy dinner
Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash

Serving size and portion size—they’re the same thing—right? Well, no. If you’re trying to lead a healthier lifestyle, it’s important to pay attention to these numbers, but they’re not the same. Serving size affects your portion size and vice versa. So, what’s the difference?

Serving Size

Serving size is a standardized amount of food and it’s written on the nutrition facts label. The label shows the amount of sugar, sodium, carbs, protein, and calories in a serving size. Serving sizes should guide you on how much to eat over the course of the day.

Portion Size

Just because a serving size is written on the food, it doesn’t mean that’s exactly what you’ll eat. Portion size is how much you should eat at once. Unlike the serving size, portion size isn’t standardized, which means you could eat more or less than a serving size. Portion size is up to you.

Converting Portion Size to Serving Size

While portion size and serving size are different, they can work together to help you get a better idea of your overall diet. Use the serving size as a goal by matching your portions of a specific food group to the recommended daily amounts.