ATW Nutrition Coaching
3 minute read
24 Jan 2018
1:37 pm

6 simple ways to measure portion sizes

ATW Nutrition Coaching

Six portion control tips to help you eat healthier.

Picture: iStock

One of the biggest problems most dieters face when trying to lose weight is knowing how much of a particular food to eat in a serving.

Our natural instinct is to say we’re having a ‘small’ portion, and then help ourselves to what is really far too much. Plus with the holidays, we’re heading into a minefield of lovely foods in vast quantity.

Here are some foolproof tips you can use to get your portion sizing under control:

1. A palm of protein

If you’re eating a portion of protein (meat, chicken, fish, or eggs) you want to use the palm of your hand as a portion sizing guide. Anything larger than your palm is too large, and thus contains too many calories for you.

2. A thumb of fats

Snacking on nuts, or using some butter on a baked potato? A serving the size of your thumb is about the right size. That doesn’t seem like a lot of nuts, right? That’s because fats contain more than double the calories per gram when compared to carbs and protein. You shouldn’t be eating loads of nuts every day – even though they are tasty.


Picture: iStock

3. A fist of starch

Eating some rice, mashed or baked potato, or some pasta? A serving of starch is as large as your fist. Again, you can probably see where you may be going wrong on your eating plan, because your fist is not as large as the pile of baby potatoes or pasta you would like to have.

4. A fist of fruits

If you’re eating tinned fruit, or fruit with dessert then you should use the same measurement as for starch – a fist-sized portion.

But if you’re having fresh fruits as a meal or snack you can have two ‘large’ ones (apples, pears, bananas) at a time. If you’re having ‘small’ fruits like grapes or berries then use your fist as a guide, and have two fists of small fruits.

fruit, food, health

Image courtesy of Stock.xchng

5. A heap of vegetables

Veggies are the one thing you don’t need to measure. Just serve yourself way more than you think you need, and eat them first. They are the most nutritious things on your plate, and contain the fewest calories. Eat a heap of vegetables, then a measured portion of all the other “stuff”.

6. The naughty palm

If you’re going to have a dessert, then use your palm as a reference for the maximum size of your portion. Remember that dessert is not really part of everyday eating so these should obviously be limited.

However, if you’ve made provision for a dessert, then make sure you regulate the portion size strictly or you run the risk of getting seriously carried away.

Brought to you by All4Women

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