How much protein do you need? How many scoops of rice should you serve yourself? Are there enough veggies on your plate? If you find yourself overwhelmed or totally in the dark when it comes to questions like these, try looking to your hands for answers.
Our resident nutritionist, Sarah Enouen, taught us that the different parts of our hands can help us figure out the right portion sizes for our bodies. For example, we want about a palm-size serving of protein and a closed-fist-size serving of cooked carbs.
The best part is that this is automatically personalized for every unique body. If you're a bigger person, your hand is bigger, which means bigger portion sizes. If you’re a smaller person, your hand will be smaller, and the portions your body needs will be smaller too.
So, how does this work? Watch the video below for Sarah’s hand-based portion size recommendations for protein, carbs, vegetables, healthy fats, and nut butters:
If you’re familiar with Precision Nutrition, this advice might sound familiar. Sarah learned this portion size hand strategy when completing their certification process.
Here’s a Portion Size Cheat Sheet based on Sarah’s advice:
PROTEIN – the surface area of the palm of your hand
Your portion of protein should take up about the same surface area as the palm of your hand. Examples: eggs, fish, meat, tofu, beans
CARBS – one closed fist
Cooked carbohydrates should take up the same amount of space as your closed fist. Look at the volume of your fist, not just the surface area.
Examples: rice, potatoes, pasta, quinoa
VEGETABLES – two handfuls
Double up on the vegetables with two handfuls. (The greener, the better!)
Examples: spinach, kale, zucchini, broccoli, string beans, cabbage, lettuce
HEALTHY FATS – one thumb
The healthy fats you consume should line up with the volume of one thumb.
Examples: coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil
NUT BUTTERS – two thumbs
If you’re having some nut butter, you want two thumbs worth. That’s roughly two tablespoons.
Examples: almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter
NUTS & SEEDS – one closed handful
When it comes to nuts, you want the amount that you can grab and carry in one closed handful.
Examples – almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
FRUIT – one cupped handful, a closed fist or the whole fruit
It was all pretty straight forward till we got here. Essentially, Sarah’s advice for fruit boils down to how much of it you want to eat. A small portion would be what fits in your cupped hand while a large portion would take up the volume of a closed fist, like your cooked carbs. As for mid-sized fruits, like apples, bananas, peaches, and oranges, the whole fruit is usually a nice-sized portion.
We hope that Sarah’s advice helps you navigate healthy eating and Conquer Your Can’t. We’d love to hear about your progress and are always open to suggestions as to what we can do to make our content better. Whether you want to share an update, make a request, or give us feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out. (You can comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)