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Portion Sizes: using your head to use your hands

Portion Sizes: using your head to use your hands

Courtney Cronin

When it comes to fitness chatter, there’s another F word that usually follows- FOOD.

Afterall, your body is literally made up of those two components: what you put in it and what you do with it.

Food intake is also one of the biggest reasons why people aren’t satisfied with their bodies even though their fitness game is on point.  But here’s the thang- we NEED it (der).

So, within all diet questions and uncertainties, there’s one extremely common misunderstanding: quantity (aka. HOW MUCH DO I EAT?!)

It’s a great question because, by and large, people (especially here in ‘merica) eat too much.  Plain and simple, there are too many calories goin’ in than heading out.  This often leads to weight gain, over exercising and continued frustration.

There’s another popular “school of thought” many have subscribed to: “well, I must not be eating enough.”  We hear about our bodies being machines and in order for them to burn, baby burn, we need to fuel it.  While YAS that’s true, many people combat that problem with again, eating too much or, not eating enough of the right stuff.

So goodness gracious what’s a frustrated chewer to do?

There are a LOT of different ways people try to take the confusing riddle above into their own hands.  This includes calorie counting, weighing food, macronutrient regimens and of course, well-marketed scams, err, plans.

There are a few reasons why those practices often don’t work for the majority of people.  

  1. It’s kinda annoying.  To take out a scale and record metrics for your ENTIRE life is not really appealing (try whipping out that digital on a first date).
  2. It’s inaccurate.  The nutrition labels on food provide an incredible amount of info (how else would I know dipotassium phosphate is in hot cocoa?!) but they’re oftentimes incredibly inaccurate and yield false calories and/or macros for the nomnom-er.
  3. It’s confusing.  What “theory” is right for me?!  I just wanna EAT!

Before we get our shopping carts in a bunch, there’s some good news: all you need to do is literally take the matter into your own hands.

That’s right, a pretty smart guy named Dr. John Berardi and his gang over at Precision Nutrition came up with a super simple and straight forward way of eating healthy meals by using our hands as mobile “measuring cups”.  Precision Nutrition, a science based program, helps individuals implement sustainable changes to their diet.  Like a lot of us health professionals, PN’s crew wanted to make eating well easier for people to do and understand.  It’s a guideline almost anyone can use and is the easiest way we’ve come across to make sure you’re eating the right stuff- and the right amount of it!

So, how does it work?

 

Step 1.  Get out your wavers (...your uh, hands)

 

Step 2.  Assign the following “measuring cups”:

  • Your palm is your protein portions

  • Your fist is your veggie portions

  • Your cupped hand is your carb portions

  • Your thumb is your fat portions

 

Step 3.  Assuming you’ll eat 4 meals a day:

  • Women should have 1 of each “measuring cup” in each of their meals.  That is, 1 palm of a lean protein, 1 fist of a veggie, 1 cupped hand of carbs and 1 thumb of fat.

  • Men, double both.

 

That’s it.

Oh wait, hold on,

 

Step 4. Eat

 

Okay, that’s it.

Now, there are certainly ways to modify these measuring cups for the individual person/body.  Some body types may require more carbs, less fat.  Others?  Mo’ fat, less carbs.  (Read more about eating for your body type here.)

But...for the large majority of people who just want a basic guideline and can’t stand the thought of tracking in an app all day, this little diddy is pretty stellar.

So go on, play with your food.  And remember, we’re always here to help along the way.