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Breakthrough Fitness

Portion Sizes For Dummies

We started off the week discussing keeping it simple when it comes to fitness and health. Let’s roll with the theme and discuss portions. Controlling portions is probably the simplest step we can take towards our fat loss and weight maintenance goals. You don’t need to count calories or macros in order to eat healthy and in accordance with your goals.

By the way, if you just thought, “What’s a macro?” then you definitely don’t need to waste your time counting them. 🙂

Now, don’t get me wrong, logging your food intake so you have an estimate of how many calories you’re eating — and how much protein, carbs and fats — can be useful. But I believe this is best kept to short doses of 3-5 days at a time, so you can get a snapshot of your typical food intake.

In the long run, most people are more successful with a system that’s based on more intuitive eating habits. Luckily, I’ve got one for you that works and is super simple to implement.

The hand-portion system aka portion size for dummies

Protein: 1 palm-sized serving per meal for women, 2 for men.

Vegetables: 1 fist-sized serving per meal for women, 2 for men.

Carbohydrates: 1 cupped handful per meal for women, 2 for men.

Healthy Fats: 1 thumb-sized serving per meal for women, 2 for men.

This is an excellent starting point for most people. Once you try it for a couple of weeks, you can assess your results — and also your levels of hunger and fullness. Then, adjust up or down from there.

First you create awareness of what proper portions should be. Next you focus on slowing down and enjoying the food. Once the quantity of food is taken care of we can start drilling down the quality. In other words, fresh vegetables over canned. Lean, antibiotic-free meats over processed meats. Whole grains instead of packaged, preservative loaded rices and pastas. Healthy fats like nuts and avocados not fried chicken and cupcakes.

Once you have mastered the basics you can always find a next level. But do you really need or want to? Do you want to make sure your intake of fats is broken up into correct proportions? (i.e. one third from mono-unsaturated fats like raw nuts and olive oil, one third from polyunsaturated sources like fish and seeds, and one third from saturated fats like well-sourced animal protein, grass-fed dairy products and tropical oils like coconut oil).

The correct answer is NO, you don’t. Controlling portions is as simple as it gets. It may not always be easy, but if you put forth the effort, you’ll succeed.

Keep it simple and keep moving,

Coach Dom