Published June 4, 2018 Last updated December 30, 2018 By Martha McKinnon Leave a Comment

As a longtime lifetime Weight Watcher who has attended hundreds of meetings through the decades, I can recite by heart most of the best Weight Watchers weight loss tips. Instead I’ve decided to record them one-by-one here on the blog for everyone’s benefit!

Guesstimate Your Portions for Lasting Weight Loss Success

Best Weight Watchers Weight Loss Tips: Guesstimate your Portions

I love the word guesstimate. I feel my whole body relax when I hear it. Guesstimating means giving ourselves permission to do our best and not sweat the details. It means letting go of the need for perfection.

How are you at guesstimating your portions? How do you get good at it?


Being able to guesstimate your portions is an important skill in the real world. At home you can use your scale and measuring cups, but’s it’s not very practical when you are out to dinner or invited to friends.

Related: Managing Portions and Servings for Weight Loss Success

Note: If you are a Weight Watchers member, page 41 of the Pocket Guide has suggestions for using your hand to help with portion estimation

hand making a fist

Use Your Fist to Determine a Serving of Starch

fist = 1 cup


The First Thumb Joint is a Serving of Fat

thumb = 1 ounce meat or cheese

palm of hand

palm of hand /deck of cards = 3 – 4 ounce portion of protein

Small Handful of Nuts

Small Handful of Mixed Nuts (3PPV)

cupped hand 1 – 2 ounces of nuts

Super Bowl Party Buffet Table Laden with Food

Party Portion Strategies….

  • Sparkling water instead of a drink
  • place food in a napkin instead of on a plate
  • step away from the food table
  • eat lots of raw fruit and veg
  • use smaller plates
  • don’t let foods on the plate touch
  • small cups for drinks with calories
  • weigh and measure your food for one meal or all day to help train your eyes so you will be better at guestimating when you are out.

Related: 8 Ways to Eat Less and Manage Your Portions in Restaurants

Remember the 5 Ws…

  • weigh and measure portions
  • write
  • water
  • walk/workout
  • weigh in

Portion Guesstimating Quiz… (correct answer = +)

Spicy Jalapeno Hummus cluse up

1/4 cup store bought hummus looks like:

  • golf ball +
  • thumb (1 oz)
  • fingertip (1 t)

Homemade burgers on grill

3 ounce turkey burger looks like…

  • palm of your hand+
  • closed fist (1 cup)
  • tennis ball (1 cup)

Creamy Red, White and Blue Potato Salad in blue bowl on red mat

1/2 cup potato salad looks like…

  • half fist +
  • 1/2 tennis ball +
  • baseball (1 cup)

cheese on a plate

Cheese Plate

one ounce of cheese looks like…

  • 9v battery+
  • 4 small dice +
  • thumb +

Young women in colorful clothes having fun together

Smart thinking at party…

  • scope things out first to decide what you really want
  • sip don’t slurp, nibble don’t gobble
  • eat it. enjoy it. track it. move on.
  • Self Talk – “not my last party.” “I will eat again.” ” What is worth the splurge?”
  • It’s okay to estimate points. Don’t need to be perfect. Eat lots of veggies to take the edge of hunger.

WW Freestyle Program Changes for 2019

new weight watchers name program changes 2019

Related: The Portion Teller Offers Great Insight to Weight Watchers

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28-Day Smart Start Weight Loss Challenge eBook Cover

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