Portion Control - No Measuring Cups Required!

Ever go on a diet where you were forced to measure and weigh every piece of food that you put  on your plate? We’ve all been there. The problem with that is it’s hard to stick to! What if you’re at a restaurant? At a friends house? Or you just don’t feel like washing all of those measuring cups? Life get’s in the way of even our best intentions. But what if we told you that you can still control your portions, no measuring, weighing, or label reading required. All you need is your hands. In our CYCLE Kids curriculum we call this “Hand Signals for Food.” Below is portion size shown in four simple pictures. 

1. The Palm of Your Hand

One palm represents a three ounce serving of protein; meat, fish, tofu, or beans. This also represents a serving of cooked vegetable, and two handfuls represent the serving size for a raw leafy green vegetable such as lettuce or kale. 

2. A Clenched Fist

This is represents the size of one cup. This can measure a serving of cooked pasta, grain, or starchy vegetables, a medium piece of fruit, a cup of uncooked vegetable, or a double serving of ice cream.

3. A Thumb

This represents the size of a tablespoon. This can measure peanut or almond butter, olive oil, oil-based salad dressing, or butter.

4. Two Fingers

This represents an ounce. This can measure a serving size of cheese or nuts.

If you can fill your plate abundantly with veggies, and balance it with a palm of protein, a fist of whole grains or starchy vegetables, a thumb of olive oil, and top it with two fingers of cheese or nuts, you’ll set yourself up for success, no measuring apparatuses required! If you’re looking for even more guidance on portion control, check out our previous post on how to balance your plate.

What hand signal do you find most helpful? Let us know in the comments below!