An Easy Way to Measure Portions

There’s an easy way to learn how to portion food on your plate using only your hand, which is rather convenient since you always have it with you!

Use the flat of your hand to measure out fruit and vegetables, except starches like potatoes.

Use the palm of your hand to measure protein like meat and eggs. 

Use your tightly closed fist to measure starches such as bread, potatoes, rice and pasta. 

Make a circle touching your index finger to your thumb. Use the circle as a measure for fats such as nuts, seeds, oils and dressings.  

Use these simple tricks to create healthy balanced protions. This also eliminates the need for calorie counting, which is not necessary anyway when you eat a healthy whole foods diet. However, as a smaller person has smaller hands and a larger person has bigger hands, the adjusted portion sizes are built in automatically. A person with larger hands will eat about 500 calories per meal and a person with smaller hands will consume about 400 calories per meal, which just happens to be the same calorie range associated with ideal weight loss and maintenance. 

Click here for a free portions printable to keep in your kitchen.   


Talbott, Shawn M. The Cortisol Connection: Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health. Hunter House, 2007.

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