Ok, we’re all eating whole foods right? Nothing out of a colorful box with an ingredients list that seems like it’s written in a foreign language, right?
So, how much do we eat from each whole foods category? The categories being: healthy fats, lean meats, dairy, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
If you have a hand to hold your fork, you have a great built-in device to measure out your portion sizes. Using your hand to measure out portions is extremely simple. Perhaps you have seen hand-size used for portion control before, I know I have. In fact, I have my own really simple version. Think of it as a calculator without the fancy additional buttons.
Here’s my version:
These are sizes per meal…
The protein portion: No bigger than the palm of your hand.
The healthy fats portion: ½ the length of your thumb.
Dairy… this is where there is some overlap…
Cheese-like dairy: No bigger than your whole thumb
Yogurt-like dairy: Palm size (and please don’t go for the no-fat; too much sugar)
Milk… sorry folks I just don’t recommend drinking it. I don’t know many people that can tolerate it, yet if you’re one of those people that can tolerate it… 1/2 cup (which kind of seems like palm size to me).
Complex carbohydrates: Palm size. What are the complex carbohydrates you ask? Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, millet, squash, sweet potatoes, etc. Think things that grow in the ground, are dense and have very little water content. And remember, the more man has manipulated it, the more processed it is.
Vegetables and Fruit: These can fill your whole hand with your fingers stretched out. I would opt for more vegetables than fruit, just because most fruit have a lot natural sugar. Fruit in its whole form is best. All the natural fiber that comes with whole fruit can help slow down the sugar rush.
So each meal should consist of these sizes for each macronutrient. For example, for breakfast I had:
1 lightly fried egg (I love my yolk runny)
1 whole wheat piece of toast (with about two teaspoons of cream cheese and two teaspoons of fruit preserves)
A large portion (about the size of my whole hand) of homemade kale chips and ½ an apple. Kale chips where baked with about two teaspoons of olive oil.
I think this meal got all my portion sizes pretty much on target. So, if I can get all my macronutrients for lunch and dinner to fit into the palm of my hand, I’m golden.
And, if I make time in my day to fit in at least 15 minutes of exercise, my healthy day is going well.
Here’s to keeping your mind and body healthy!
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I am a fanatic when it comes to uncovering the truths and the falsities to sound nutrition and good health. When we use a little common sense we can back up anything, yet there is always room for debate.