John Van Vorst

Still not sure how much to eat? Talk to the hand! O n average, Americans eat 425 more calories per day than they did forty years ago. Worse yet, we tend to underes- timate our daily energy intake by as much as 1,000 calories per day. Gentlemen, I’m talking directly to you! Some of this can be explained by the growing amount of processed, or ultra- processed, foods that deliver a knockout punch of sweet, salty, starchy and/or fatty deliciousness (sometimes all at once) with little or no nutritional value. However, even when we choose the right variety of whole or minimally-processed foods, we may have a distorted sense of the proper portions. The good news is, you have a pretty reliable portion size guide located at the end of your wrist. The hand size portion guide works as follows: your palm de- termines your protein portion, a fist represents your veggie por- tion, a cupped handful determines your carb portions (i.e., fruits, starchy veggies, whole grains and beans, and your thumb de- termines your fat portions (i.e., nuts, avocado, coconut, olives). This guide can assist you whether you’re at home, work, social gatherings or travel. Hand sizes are also scalable, so smaller folks will tend to have smaller hands and lower caloric needs. Most importantly, this portion guide provides an adequate amount of nutrient-dense foods to prevent deficiencies without ever count- ing calories or weighing and measuring foods.

For a given day, aim for the totals listed in Table 1 . These amounts would provide approximately 2,300-3,000 calories for males and 1,500-2,100 calories for females. Adjust the ranges based on goals (i.e. trying to build lean mass, trying to lose body fat), food preferences, and overall amount of physical activity. Generally, the protein and veggies remain constant while the carb-dense and fat-dense foods are modu- lated up or down.



6-8 palms of protein-dense foods

4-6 palms of protein-dense foods

6-8 fists of veggies

4-6 fists of veggies

6-8 cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods

4-6 cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods

6-8 thumbs of fat-dense foods

4-6 thumbs of fat-dense foods

Table 1: Daily Hand Size Portion Guide

28 F B I N A A . O R G | J U L Y / A U G 2 0 1 9

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker