How To Control Your Food Portions

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Calorie counting has helped many people get in fantastic shape by helping them control portion size. This is all well and good in a country where calories are displayed on food items in the supermarket and on restaurant menus, but for Nigerian food it’s much more difficult. To reach and maintain a healthy weight, it’s essential that you’re eating proper portion sizes. But how can you be sure you’re eating the right amounts without weighing and measuring your food all the time?

In this article we’ll share an easy way to get the job done. All you need is the ability to count to two and your own hand.

Here how it works:
-Your palm determines your protein portions.
-Your fist determines your veggie portions.
-Your cupped hand determines your carb portions.
-Your thumb determines your fat portions.

CALORIE CONTROL GUIDE FOR MEN
To see what this looks like in action, check out this calorie control guide for men.

CALORIE CONTROL GUIDE FOR WOMEN
And here’s what the calorie control guide for women looks like.

MORE ON PROTEIN INTAKE
For protein-dense foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy, or beans, use a palm sized serving.

For men we recommend two palm-sized portions with each meal. And for women we recommend one palm-sized portion with each meal. Note: a palm-sized portion is the same thickness and diameter as your palm.

MORE ON VEGGIE INTAKE
For veggies like broccoli, spinach, salad, carrots, etc. use a fist-sized serving.

For men we recommend 2 fist-sized portions of vegetables with each meal. And for women we recommend 1 fist-sized portion of vegetables with each meal. Again, a fist-sized portion is the same thickness and diameter as your fist.

MORE ON CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE
If you’re including extra carbohydrates in a meal – like grains, starches, or fruits – use a cupped hand to determine your serving size.

For men we recommend 2 cupped-hand sized portions of other carbohydrates if you’re including them. And for women we recommend 1 cupped-hand sized portion of other carbohydrates if you’re including them.

MORE ON FAT INTAKE
If you’re including extra fats in a meal – like oils, butters, nut butters, nuts/seeds – use your entire thumb to determine your serving size.

For men we recommend 2 thumb-sized portions of extra fats if you’re including them. And for women we recommend 1 thumb-sized portion of extra fats if you’re including them.

PORTIONS AND BODY SIZE

Of course, if you’re a bigger person, you probably have a bigger hand. And if you’re a smaller person, you probably have a smaller hand. This means your own hand can be a personalized (and portable) measuring device for your food intake.

True, some people do have larger or smaller hands for their body size. Still, our hand size correlates pretty closely with general body size, including muscle, bone – the whole package.

FLEXIBLE MEAL PLANNING

Based on the guidelines above, which assume you’ll be eating about 3 or 4 times a day, you now have a simple and flexible guide for meal planning.

For men:
-2 palms of protein dense foods with each meal.
-2 fists of vegetables with each meal.
-2 cupped hands of carb dense foods if including extra carbs.
-2 entire thumbs of fat dense foods if including extra fats.

For women:
-1 palm of protein dense foods with each meal.
-1 fist of vegetables with each meal.
-1 cupped hand of carb dense foods if including extra carbs.
-1 entire thumb of fat dense foods if including extra fats.

Of course, just like any other form of nutrition planning – including calorie counting – this serves as a starting point. So stay flexible and adjust your portions based on your hunger, fullness, and other important 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. Likewise, if you’re trying to lose weight but seem to have stalled out, you might eliminate a cupped palm of carbohydrates or a thumb of fats at particular meals.

In the end, if you’ve been frustrated with calorie counting, you’re not alone. Instead of counting grams and weighing your intake, give this portion control guide a try.

For more go to www.livestrong.com.


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