An easy way to calculate serving sizes is at hand

I’m thoroughly enjoying many high tech gadgets like my new iPad, my iPhone golf app that tell me how far it is to the hole and my workout-shortening vibration platform.

But, just because I like technology, it doesn’t mean I want to have dinner with it. At a restaurant recently, when a friend pulled out her smart phone to show me her portion calculation app, I just had to tell her there’s a much simpler way to measure what you’re eating.

Use your hand!

It’s an easy and convenient way to understand portion sizes when they’re listed for you as ounces, teaspoons or cups:

Your thumb = 1 oz

Your palm = 3-4 oz

Your closed fist = 1 cup

Your thumb tip = 1 tsp

A handful = 1-2 oz of snack foods

Knowing portion sizes is an important tool to help you keep track of how much good, whole food you’re getting, and it gives you more control when managing foods you would like to limit. According to research, the bigger the portion sizes people are given, the more they eat — especially with pre-packaged snacks or fast food that don’t have much nutritional value.

Another reason I like using your hand for portion control? You can use it any time – while taking a break from a sport, on a plane, or any other time you might be on the go without being “connected.” And – your hand doesn’t require a data plan!



Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity. Research to Practice Series No. 2: Portion Size. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006. (accessed 05.02.12)


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