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How to Estimate Portion Sizes?

This is a great chart with information on portion sizes. As you probably already know, portions everywhere are over-sized, making it easy for people to overeat. I ask my clients to measure their food for a week or two just to get an idea of how much they’re eating. Obviously, nobody wants to use measuring cups and spoons for the rest of their lives or even for a few days in public, so this chart will help you visually estimate your portions.

To read this chart, start with the hand symbol on the left and read what it’s equivalent for; a cup looks like a fist for example. Then move to the third and forth columns. A cup (as big as a fist) of pasta or rice has 200 calories, a cup of fruit has 75 calories, and a cup of veggies has 40 calories. You can also see that some foods are more dense in calories than others. And to promote weight loss, you want to eat less of these foods.

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Different people have different fist, palm, or thumb sizes. How does this chart work for everyone?

It’s simple. If you have a big hand, it’s likely that you’re more well-built (taller or larger body frame) and you would need more energy than a smaller person. It’s like your fist is made for you. If you have a big hand and a small body, continue to read on about mindful eating.

Use this guide while also striving to become a mindful eater. Mindful eating revolves around listening to your own hunger and satiety cues, checking in with your body during meals and outside of meal times to assess how hungry and how full you are. While the typical recommended serving size of meat, for example, is 3 ounces or the palm of your hand, some days you’re going to feel hungry for more, and other days you may feel less hungry and eat less. Your body adjusts how much food it asks for depending on your energy expenditure that day or even that week. What’s I’m trying to point out is, use this guide as your outside cue AND listen to your hunger and satiety levels as your outside cue.

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