If you are trying to eat healthy and monitor your portions it’s obviously important to keep track of what and how much you eat. You could do this by weighing, measuring, recording and counting calories or you can use a much simpler and about as accurate method…your hand! Use your hand to gauge your food portions:
- Your palm determines your protein portions.
- Your cupped hand determines your carb portions.
- And your thumb determines your fat portions.
For protein dense foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy and legumes us a palm sized serving (the same width and thickness as your palm). In general, men will aim for two palm sized servings per meal and women will aim for one.
For carbohydrate-dense foods – like grains, starches, or fruits – use a cupped hand to determine your serving size. Again men will aim for two servings per meal and women will aim for one.
For fat-dense foods – like oils, butters, nut butters, nuts/seeds – use your entire thumb to determine your serving size.
Likely the bigger you are, the bigger your hand will be and vice versa. Our own hand happens to be a personalized (and portable) measuring device for food intake.
*Based on the guidelines above, which assume you’ll be eating about 4 times a day, you now have a simple and flexible guide for meal planning.
- ~ 2 palms of protein dense foods with each meal;
- ~ 2 fists of vegetables with each meal;
- ~ 2 cupped hands of carb dense foods with most meals;
- ~ 2 entire thumbs of fat dense foods with most meals.
- ~ 1 palm of protein dense foods with each meal;
- ~ 1 fist of vegetables with each meal;
- ~ 1 cupped hand of carb dense foods with most meals;
- ~ 1 entire thumb of fat dense foods with most meals.
Of course this is just a starting point. Try it out and adjust for hunger and fullness.
You might also adjust for your specific goals. For example, if you’re trying to gain weight, and you’re having trouble gaining, you might add another cupped palm of carbohydrates or another thumb of fats. On the other hand, if you’re trying to lose weight but aren’t seeing the results you want, you might eliminate a cupped palm of carbohydrates or a thumb of fats at particular meals.
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