We all know how hard it is to maintain or work toward weight reduction. There is always a new diet to try, and the latest fitness and health blogs consistently promote ‘lifestyle changes’ such as keto, paleo, high fat, no fat, etc.
Unfortunately, there is no magic potion or extreme, unmaintainable, fad diet that truly works. As much as we may want to believe it exists, the answer lies in portion control.
It’s not the potion, it’s the portion.
One must take in fewer calories and expend more from your stored fat savings account in order to maintain or lose weight.
Research has shown that keeping a food journal can help successfully manage your choices. A recent article from Harvard Health outlines the importance of food journaling in today’s society. I believe keeping a food diary is important, but I understand many of us may find it too difficult to maintain.
In this blog, I am going to give some easy portion control visual references using your hand to gauge your portions at your three main meals. Ideally, it would be best to measure out specific serving sizes to see how well your hand sizes up for your portions. Here we go.
Follow these easy steps:
- Make a fist – this equals your complex carbohydrate serving at your main meals. Example: slow-cooked oatmeal for breakfast, baked sweet potato for lunch, a serving of rice for dinner.
- Open your hand – Trace your palm and look at the thickness of it. This is your protein serving size. Example: A chicken sausage patty for breakfast, a grilled chicken breast for lunch, a piece of fish for dinner.
- Double fists – This is your non-starchy vegetable/fruit serving. Example: Berries for breakfast, broccoli for lunch and asparagus for dinner.
- Put your thumb up – from the tip of your thumb to the first knuckle is your fat serving. Example: Olive oil to cook the chicken sausage patty, oil and vinegar on your double fist size salad, and dinner is some butter or tartar sauce with your fish.
- Lastly, snacking throughout the day should be limited to more fresh vegetables and fruits. Be careful with snacking on healthy nuts, because they are only healthy within a small serving size. Remember, if the serving size of almonds is 23, count 23! That number comes quickly if you’re mindlessly snacking.
While these simple measuring tools cover your main meals and food groups they don’t account for those extras – alcohol, juices, ice cream, etc. These are easy guidelines you can use right at the table.
-Guy C., Dedham Health & Athletic Complex