Viewing entries tagged
portion sizes


Don’t Over Think Your Nutrition

So, over the past couple weeks I’ve been asked on multiple occasions, “what is the best diet for me to cut weight?”  To answer that honestly, there is no one diet or BEST diet that works for everyone.  Like your fitness programming, your nutrition program should be customized and tailored toward your lifestyle and needs.  A successful nutrition plan isn't necessarily considered the “Best Diet” or most “Popular” that’s hit the market at a specific time (Paleo, Atkins, Vegan, Whole 30, etc). But that doesn't mean that the so called “Best Diets” out there are wrong either.  They all focus on similar points such as: Food Awareness, Quality, Nutrient Deficiencies, & Exercise.  Being more aware of what food you are putting in your body will help you through outany nutrition program.  Most of the programs out there all recommend choosing high quality whole foods, that are minimally processed, and is nutrient-rich.  They eliminate nutrient deficiencies, which keeping with the previous point, its about what you put in your mouth.  Making sure that your food is nutrient dense, minimally processed with rich nutrients that your body can actually use rather than store as fat.  This will help control appetite and food intake.  They also promote EXERCISE.  Which we all know is the gateway to staying fit and weight loss.
But where do you start?  How do you know how much to eat?

I think that the most important thing is to first work on good eating habits and be aware of how much you are eating by controlling your portion sizes.  It doesn't make sense to count calories when you don't understand how the different types of calories you are putting in your body effect your end goal.  Its just silly to get all wrapped up and overwhelmed in the time consuming process of calculating the amount of calories you are consuming and stressing about breaking up your macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fat).  There is a lot more science and calculations that go into that.  And it involves a lot of time that most people with full time jobs, who have a family to support, a social life, simply do not have.  Your nutrition program shouldn't be so difficult that you give up and say “the hell with this shit!”

So…Lets start with simple… Then we can tweak your program for the best results possible.  

Understanding portion sizes is a good start to simple.   Using your hand as a way to measure your portion sizes of protein, carbohydrates, and fats is a good way to initiate good, simple, eating habits and controlling how much you eat.  Below are some simple ways to make measuring your portions easy using your hands rather than pulling out the scale, measuring cups and spoons, and calculators and smart phone apps (which for the most part are in accurately counting your calories anyway).

To Determine Protein Intake:
For protein-dense foods like meat,
fish, eggs, dairy, or beans, use a
palm-sized serving.

We recommend women eat one
palm-sized portion with each meal.

For men…we recommend eat two
palm-sized portions with each meal.

Note: a palm-sized portion is the same
thickness and diameter as your palm.



Fist Sized Portion

Fist Sized Portion

To Determine Your Vegetable Intake:
For veggies like broccoli, spinach, salad,
carrots, etc. use a fist sized serving.

We recommend women eat one
fist-sized portion with each meal.

For men…we recommend eat two
fist-sized portions with each meal.

Again, a fist-sized portion is the same
thickness and diameter of your fist.



Cupped Palm Size

Cupped Palm Size

To Determine Your Carbohydrate Intake:
For carbohydrate-dense foods like
grains, starches or fruits use a cupped
hand to determine your serving size.

We recommend women eat one
cupped hand - sized portion of
carbohydrates with most meals.

For men…we recommend eat two
cupped hand - sized portion of
carbohydrates with most meals.



Full Thumb Size

Full Thumb Size

To Determine Your fat Intake:
Fat fat dense foods like- oils, butters,
nut butters, nuts/seeds use your entire
thumb to determine serving size.

We recommend women eat one
thumb size portions of fat
with most meals.

For men…we recommend eat two
thumb size portions of fat
with most meals.

Examples of Good Protein Sources:  

  • Eggs
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Beans
  • Steak (lean)
  • Shrimp
  • Red Lentils
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Scallops
  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Pork Tenderloin

Examples of Good Carbohydrates:                  

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Red Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Brown Rice
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Plantain
  • Butternut Squash

Examples of Good Vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Bell Peppers
  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Celery

Examples of Good Fat Sources:  

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Raw Avocado
  • Butter
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Almond Butter
  • No Sugar Added Natural Peanut Butter
  • MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides)

I recently posted an article on Facebook on how we tend to overeat or until we are full and how we tend to let our external, visual cues determine how much to eat instead of listening to our bodies.  Understanding portion sizes and how much we should eat is a good way to start creating good eating habits.  A couple more habits I want you to try are:

  • Eating slower
  • Put less on your plates
  • Eat meals that are satisfying and make you feel satiated
  • Eat your vegetables and salads first
  • Drink your water between meals and not during meals (big glass right before you eat)

Be on the look out for more Eating habits and Nutrition advice.  My goal is to help you create good habits now so it is easier for you to maintain them throughout the upcoming holiday season.  

And remember…

“There is no BEST diet…The BEST diet is the diet that is best for YOU!!”