Keeping a healthy weight is important when you have diabetes. To do that takes more than choosing the right foods. You also have to limit how much you eat at one time. That's portion control. Just how much people should eat varies from person to person. It depends on: How old you are Whether you're a man or a woman How much you weigh How active you are Your doctor or a diabetes educator can help create an eating plan that’s right for you. Then you need to pick the right amount of these foods for each meal. Here's how. 1. Divide Your Plate You can figure out how much of something to eat by how much space it gets on your plate. The space on half of the plate goes to non-starchy vegetables. Examples are broccoli, carrots, peppers and tomatoes. Then, divide the rest of the plate in half again. One of those sections is for starchy foods, such as pasta, rice, sweet potatoes, and whole-grain bread. In the other section, add a food high in protein. Choices include eggs, fish, lean cuts of meat and skinless chicken. Tofu is another option. 2. Get the Right Tools To make sure your food servings are the right size, you need to measure. Don't guess. Use measuring cups and spoons. Sometimes you need to weigh foods, like meats. Use a food scale. After a while, you'll get to know what 1 cup of something looks like, for instance. Also use these tools to figure out how much your bowls and glasses hold. You might want to get smaller dishes and glasses. A smaller plate looks full even when the portion size is smaller. This may make you less tempted to eat more. 3. Use Your Hand You can also learn to judge portion size by the size of your hand. This can be very helpful when eating out. For instance: A clenched fist is about 1 cup. That's one serving of soup, a casserole, or cooked vegetables. Half of your fist is about ½ cup. That's one serving of starchy vegetables, cereal, beans, rice, or noodles. The palm of your hand is about 3 ounces. That's one serving of meat, poultry or fish. One hand cupped is about 1 ounce. That's one serving of a snack food or cheese. The tip of your thumb is about 1 tablespoon. That's one serving of dressing or cream cheese. The tip of your finger is about 1 teaspoon. That's one serving of butter or margarine. Serving size and portion size are not always the same thing. Serving size is what's given on the label of a food. It helps you tell how many calories and nutrients the food contains. Portion size is how much you should eat of a particular food. That might be more or less than the serving size. 4. Try Other Ways to Control Portions Pay attention: Be aware of what you eat. Don't eat while watching TV. Eat slowly, and enjoy the food you are eating. This will help you tell when you're full. People who do this usually eat smaller portions. Put food away: After fixing your plate, put any extra food back in the refrigerator or cupboard. You will be less tempted to eat extra portions if you don't see the food sitting there. Prepare single servings: This is good for snack foods. When you can, buy snacks that come in single servings. If you buy them in large bags, divide it up into small portions right away. Be smart when you dine out: Try sharing your meal with the person you are with. Or, order a half-portion. You can ask the waiter to put half your meal in a to-go bag before serving it. You could also pick an appetizer as your main course.