You are trying to lose weight, but you keep catching yourself having portions that are too big? Or you cook for your loved ones and there are always leftovers? If you don’t feel like weighing everything, use your hands: your fist, palms, and thumbs can tell you what one portion of rice, meat, or fat looks like.

Measuring your portion sizes

Here's how it works:

  • Your palm can help to measure the size of your protein portion.
  • Your fist can determine the size of your vegetable portions.
  • A clenched fist can determine the size of your carbohydrate portion size.
  • Your thumb can determine your fat portions.

portion control with your hands

HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN A HANDFUL OF FOOD?

Now you know the best way to measure food portions with your hands. But how many calories does a handful of rice, veggies, meat, or sweets actually contain?

Rice: A fist-sized portion of cooked rice equals 100 g, has around 130 cal, and is a great source of carbohydrates.

Vegetables: 2 handfuls of mixed vegetables equals 150 g and has approximately 82 cal.

Fruit: A handful of mixed fruit equals 80 g and has about 42 cal. Fruit supplies your body with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Olive Oil: A thumb-sized portion of olive oil (= 1 Tsp) has 60 cal. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol.

Chicken: A handful of (roasted) chicken equals 100 g, has around 111 cal, and is a rich source of protein.

Almonds: A handful of almonds equals 40 g and has around 231 cal. Almonds are one of the most nutrient dense nuts!

Milk Chocolate: A handful of milk chocolate equals 16.7 g and has approximately 90 cal. The high sugar content means this treat should be enjoyed in moderation.

 

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends the following advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. To make it easier to plan and measure portion sizes you can use the palm of your hand to equal one portion of meat. 

Generally, a standard serve of meat is (500–600kJ):

  • 100g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw) or one small can of fish 
  • 65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal or pork (about  90-100g raw).
  • 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey (100g raw)
  • 100g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw) or one small can of fish.
  • 2 large (120g) eggs.
  • 65g cooked lean red meats such as beef, lamb, veal or pork (about  90-100g raw).
  • 80g cooked lean poultry such as chicken or turkey (100g raw)
  • 100g cooked fish fillet (about 115g raw) or one small can of fish
  • 2 large (120g) eggs.
  • 1 cup (150g) cooked or canned legumes/beans such as lentils, chick chickpeas (preferably with no added salt)170g tofu.
  • 30g nuts, seeds, peanut or almond butter or tahini or other nut or seed paste (no added salt)* The front of your closed fist equals 1/2 a cup.

 

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