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March 29, 2020

Portion Control, Wherever You Go!

How your hands can help you maximize your nutrition!

If you are just really diving into making your diet better, using your hands may be a really easy way to dial in and track your nutrition without getting too complex.



Here are the four reasons why, yes, your hands are a great tool when you don’t have the ability to use a food scale. 

1. Hands are portable, right?! They can come with you to work lunches, restaurants, Christmas Dinner and night outs with your friends -- yes, I have been that weirdo to hold up my hand next to my nicely prepared steak at a restaurant! 

2. Hands are a consistent size, providing a consistent reference. 

3. Hands scale with the individual. Bigger people need more food, and tend to have bigger hands, therefore getting larger portions. Smaller people need less food, and tend to have smaller hands, therefore getting smaller portions. 

4. Hand-size portions can help you track food choices, nutrients, and energy simply and easily. 

PRO TIP - don’t go physically putting your food in your hands to measure (especially during this pandemic!)! Use this as a guide to eyeball against your food choices.

Could you imagine trying to measure your freshly cooked green beans in your hand?! Yowza!


Check out the serving sizes here:


Here is how that stacks up:


SCIENCE EXPERIMENT:  When you are preparing a meal, if you use a scale -- check out the accuracy of the above using your scale. Let me know if you try it and what your results are!




For each meal, you might begin by eating:

1-2 palms of protein-dense foods 

Some whole food examples are Beef, Fish, Chicken, Turkey, shrimp, eggs, cottage cheese, greek yogurt, beans, lentils, legumes, edamame

1-2 fists of non-starchy vegetables 

There are so many choices here! Examples: Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Onions, Mushrooms, Pea Pods, Leeks (check out the “I bought a leek” post for a fun read!)

Here is a list from the American Diabetes Association with more non-starchy vegetable choices

• 1-2 cupped handfuls of carb-dense foods

Complex Carbs are the best bang for your buck! 

Try things like whole grains, brown or wild rice, quinoa, steel-cut oats, old fashioned oats, beans, lentils, peas, sweet potatoes and fruit and vegetables

• 1-2 thumbs of fat-dense foods.

Examples are Avocado, Cheese, Nuts, EVOO

Here is an example of how that would look on your plate!


Using this method is a great start to getting on track! Let us know in the comments if this is something you would try! 

Did you like the information given here? There are ways to dial it in further to reach specific goals and I can help with that! Learn about this and more in the Excel Nutrition Program. Check out more information on the Like Water Crossfit website.



Hand portion and plate source: Precision Nutrition

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