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Portion Control

by Matt Elphick
10/03/2021
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Many people are still unaware of how to track their calorie intake
Measuring your food intake can seem complicated.

Whilst we feel that the best way to achieve optimal results is calorie counting, we also understand that it is not for everyone. Calorie counting is often a key deterrent for many people when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, and tracking what they eat.

Unless you’re constantly eating from packages that display the calories contained and serving size — and providing that you can trust that the labels are indeed correct, then you’re still wondering how it works. However, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

The portion size of each food group contained in your meals does matter, and using your hand as guide is perfect measure for your food consumption. This helps to prevent overeating or undereating.

Your hand consists of four key measuring parts: thumb, cup, fist and palm.

Thumb
Used for measuring fats such as nuts and seeds, nut butters, oils, butter, etc.
It is recommended that women eat one thumb-sized portion of fats with most meals, and men eat two.

Cup
A cupped hand is used for measuring carbs such as fruits, grains and starches.
It is recommended that women eat one cupped-hand sized portion of carbohydrates with most meals, and men eat two.

Fist
Should be no thicker than the diameter of your palm. Used for measuring vegetables such as carrots, kale, callaloo, cabbage, spinach and broccoli. It is recommended that women eat one fist-sized portion of vegetables with each meal, and men eat two.

Palm
This portion size should also be no thicker than your palm’s diameter. Used for measuring protein: beans, meat, fish and/or eggs. It is recommended that women eat one palm-sized portion with each meal, and men eat two.

Men vs Women


Men are allowed two servings while women are allowed one. This is because men and women process food differently, as men tend to weigh more and have more caloric needs than women.

Men also have a higher level of testosterone which supports muscle development and makes their metabolism work faster, while women have higher levels of estrogen that supports fat maintenance and results in a slower metabolic rate.

More mass, and more lean body mass means more calories used per time for the same level of physical activity.
Be sure to use your own hand size and not someone else’s, as you hand size relates to your body.

However, this is not set in stone and is merely a starting guide, especially if you are new to healthy eating or trying to stay on track. You can experiment with your portion sizing and adjust as your lifestyle changes — if you’re exercising more, doing more chores around the house, working longer hours, sitting at your desk less, feeling full quicker, etc. It is important to be flexible and listen to your body.

If you are just starting your journey and feel lost, don’t know where to start. Drop us a line, we will be happy to help.

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  • Matt and Lorenza

    About Steel extreme

    Offering the best personal trainer and nutrition advice in Malta, Steel Extreme Fitness offers you private gym membership – where you will feel right at home.

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