Oftentimes, the simplest method is the most effective method.
That’s one of the big intellects we often suggest the entrust section method to clients who want to be aware of how much they’re eating, to lose or gain weight, and/ or to improve their health.
You might be wondering: If it’s so simple, why publish an FAQ ?!
Well, even though our hand portion method has been authorized through our experience with over 100,000 purchasers , no nutrient tracking system is perfect.
Like any other method of nutrient moving, questions are bound to come up once you( or your consumers) start using hand sections.
So to help you master the system, we’ve put together this “handy” guide.( Get it ?!) It includes answers to all the most pressing hand-portion questions our coach-and-fours receive–plus some you( or your clients) might not have even thought of yet.
Use the links below to climb directly to the answers you’re looking for, or give the whole FAQ a read to learn how to troubleshoot the most common issues ahead of time.
10 common hand-portion questions, asked
Question# 1: “How do I explain hand sections to my buyers ?! ”
Keep it short and sweet.
We’d suggest commencing with something like 😛 TAGEND
You use your hand as a personalized, portable portioning implement.
You’re not actually valuing your nutrient, but very using your hand to guess section width. The following epitome summing-ups it up delicately( and you can find a more detailed infographic here .)
There are quite a few advantages to the system. Two we’d recommend mentioning right off the bat 😛 TAGEND
# 1: Your hands are with you everywhere you go. This means you have a consistent reference point wherever you are–at the airport, your mom’s house, job lunches, buffet restaurants, and more.( It too mean you don’t have to listen to your table mates groan as you furiously search for calorie counts in your meat tracking app .)
# 2: Your hands are generally proportional to your figure and always the same size. So they be used as a reliable reference point–without the need for measuring cups or a food magnitude.( No need to wonder if your scale’s batteries are dying, or sheepishly pull your quantify bowls out of your pouch at your friend’s birthday dinner .)
From there, you can tackle a client’s specific questions or concerns as they come up.
Question# 2: “How accurate are side sections? ”
Our internal estimations picture mitt components are about 95 percentage as accurate as carefully weighing, quantifying, and tracking your meat. With substantially less effort and time involved.
And since calorie databases–the tool most people use to track calories and macros–can be off by as much as 20 percent, the five percent difference here is negligible for most. 1
Plus, as each pas portion correlates to a certain amount of protein, carbs, and/ or overweight, this method weighs calories and macros for you.
It can help to see what that might look like in real-food calls, so the tables below accommodate perspective on what we consider general mitt component sizes.
1 palm( protein) ~4 oz( 115 g) cooked flesh/ tofu, 1 bowl Greek yogurt/ cottage cheese, 1 scoop protein pulverization, 2 whole eggs
1 fist( veggies) ~1 bowl non-starchy vegetables( spinach, carrots, cauliflower, seasonings, etc .)
1 cupped mitt( carbs)~ 2/3 bowl( 130 g) cooked grains/ legumes( rice, lentils, oats, etc .), 1 medium outcome, 1 medium tuber( potatoes, yams, etc .)
1 thumb( flabs) ~1 tablespoon( 14 g) oils, nuts, seeds, nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate, etc.
1 palm( protein) ~3 oz (8 5 g) cooked flesh/ tofu, 1 bowl Greek yogurt/ cottage cheese, 1 scoop protein gunpowder, 2 whole eggs
1 fist( veggies) ~1 cup non-starchy veggies( spinach, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, etc .)
1 cupped handwriting( carbs) ~1/2 beaker( 100 g) cooked specks/ legumes( rice, lentils, oats, etc .), 1 medium return, 1 medium tuber( potatoes, yams, etc .)
1 thumb( fat) ~1 tablespoon( 14 g) petroleums, nuts, seeds, nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate, etc.
Want to see the math? That’s wholly fair, specially if you’re a numbers-oriented kind of person.
In the tables below, you can see what each component is approximately equivalent to in grams of protein, carbohydrates, solid, and calories.
Note that the entrust fraction organisation usurps a mixed uptake, intending you’ll eat various food sources of each category. In other utterances, it premises you’ll eat different protein sources like chicken, eggs, farm cheese, and tofu for protein, as opposed to living on chicken breast.
Also, as you can see in the table below, most foods aren’t purely one macronutrient. That’s okay–the hand portion system accounts for that, too.
Men’s section macros
1 palm protein~ 24 g protein, 2 g carbs, 4.5 g overweight, 145 kcal
1 fist veggies~ 1.5 g protein, 5 g carbs, 0 g flab, 25 kcal
1 cupped entrust of carbs~ 3 g protein, 25 g carbs, 1 g fat, 120 kcal
1 digit paunches~ 2 g protein, 2 g carbs, 9 g fat, 100 kcal
Women’s portion macros
1 palm protein~ 22 g protein, 2 g carbs, 4 g solid, 130 kcal
1 fist veggies~ 1.5 g protein, 5 g carbs, 0 g overweight, 25 kcal
1 cupped paw of carbs~ 3 g protein, 22 g carbs, 1 g solid, 110 kcal
1 digit fatties~ 2 g protein, 2 g carbs, 8 g fat, 90 kcal
Make no mistake: Hand fractions aren’t as accurate as macro tracking. But they are accurate enough to help you routinely track your menu intake, and reach your goals( including transforming your figure, if that’s what you’re after ). And that’s what really matters.
Question# 3: “How numerous paw components should I ingest each day? ”
There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation that’ll work for everyone, but we do have some general guidelines for people who want to try it out. Most beings will fill their needs with a starting framework of 😛 TAGEND
1-2 palms of protein-dense meat at each dinner 1-2 fists of veggies at each dinner 1-2 cupped fews of carbohydrates at most dinners 1-2 thumbs of fat-dense meat at most snacks
Of course, depending on your goals, you may need to adjust these general recommendations in order to see results.
That’s exactly why we created the Precision Nutrition Calculator.
Designed, developed, and tested in the Precision Nutrition research lab–and proven effective with thousands of clients–it’s the most comprehensive calorie, component, and macro calculator available.
The calculator takes into account 😛 TAGEND
Your personal details( height, age, force, sex) Physical ” activities( both daily crusade and purposeful practise) Nutrition and fitness goals( weight loss, muscle gain, figure recomposition, better state, peak performance) The appointment you want to reach your goal by( within reason !) The varying and adaptive mood of human metabolism( a major benefit of this calculator)
Here’s what’s really cool 😛 TAGEND
Once it reckons your calorie and macronutrient needs, it automatically converts those counts into hand sections.
And after those are calculated, we’ll send you a free, personalized navigate to using our hand portion system for hitting your calorie and macro targets.
Question# 4: “Can I do hand portions with Paleo, keto, plant-based eating, and other diets? ”
No matter the snacking style, the answer is almost surely yes.
In fact, our hand portions calculator gives you the option of choosing from a variety of eating wordings, including Mediterranean, Paleo, vegetarian, ketogenic, and perfectly plant-based.( If you’ll eat basically anything with no rules, there’s an option for that, more .)
What’s more, you can adjust your macronutrient split–that is, your relative proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats–before you get your results.
So if you’re not into keto (< 10 percent carbs ), but you prefer to eat lower-carb, you can adjust your hand parcels to account for that. Same proceeds if you prefer a low-fat diet, or if you have any other preference about your macronutrient ratio.
The low-tech way to do this is to simply replace one portion for another. For instance, let’s say you prefer a low-fat diet, and you gobbled four meals a day. At two of your meals, you might nix the thumb of paunches, instead computing an extra palm of protein, or an additional cupped handful of carbs.( You could also split the extra portion between the protein and carbs .)
The bottom line: The handwriting parcels arrangement is endlessly adaptable to a variety of eating styles, with almost no math necessary.
Question# 5: “Do I reckon my components before or after cooking? ”
One of the most common questions asked about exercising your hands to measure sections is whether the pas parcels are for cooked or uncooked foods.
The answer is both.
Hand fractions are for plating your menu , not cooking it. For nutrients you devour cooked, you ascertain them formerly cooked( e.g ., meat, pasta, rice ). For nutrients you devour fresh, you compute them raw.
And if a food can be eaten both cooked or raw( such as spinach, for example) then you would use your hand to ascertain the amount that is going onto your layer, whether you cooked it or not.( While there is a calorie difference between the cooked and uncooked edition, that only really concerns for kinfolks with the more advanced aesthetic aims, such as bodybuilders ).
That way, side segments can be used anywhere: residence, diners, buffets, gatherings, at a friend’s house, the office.
Question# 6: “How do I treat nutrients that don’t fit perfectly into different categories? ”
Most foods clearly fit into the hand portion categories: protein, carbohydrates, solid, and veggies.( If you’re not sure about a certain food, this infographic will provide answers .)
But some menus and glass don’t seem like they fit well into the hand-size parcel system.
The good report: The report contains workarounds.
Most notably problematic are liquids and foods made from multiple ingredients( as opposed to whole foods ).
Here’s how to handle them. And no, you don’t have to pour boozings into your cupped handwriting to asses them!
Cow’s milk , non-Greek yogurt, and kefir are tricky as they’re a reasonably even mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, or can vary depending on the fatty statu you choose( for instance, whole, low fat, skim ).
We suggest clearing the decision of how to weigh a specific type of milk or yogurt based on the fat or carbohydrate content.
Generally, consider 1 bowl (8 ounces) of whole milk makes a “thumb” of overweight.( Yes, even though it’s larger than a thumb and also provides some protein and carbs .) Anything lower in solid( 0 to 2 percent) is generally deemed to be a cupped hand of carbs( while also providing some flabs and protein ). A goblet of anything highly-sweetened( chocolate milk, strawberry yogurt) is generally deemed to be a cupped paw of carbs( while also providing paunches and protein ).
So what happens in this situation: You have a full-fat yogurt or entire milk that’s most sweetened? Is it a fat or carb?
Think of it this channel: If it’s once full-fat, you know it’s a digit of overweight. But if a good deal of carbohydrate is also added to it, then it’s likewise a cupped pas of carbs.
The key here is to pick an coming, and apply it frequently. For most people, this is probably more important than the actual classification itself.
That’s because the hand portion system already has built-in buffers: It expects your protein, fatty, and carb beginnings contain smaller quantities of the other macros.
What’s more, if you’re consistent with how you ascertain meat, you can more easily adjust based on the results you’re getting.
Plant milks are much like cow’s milk above. They tend to provide a mixture of macros, depending on the source, and grouping would also depend on whether or not they’re sweetened.
Generally, unsweetened forms( like grassland almond milk) don’t count as anything, as they typically simply have about 30 to 40 calories in a entire bowl (8 ounces ), and are often destroyed in relatively small amounts.
A honied account, however, would be considered a cupped pas of carbs.
Again, the key is to pick an approach and follow it consistently.
Eggs are considered a protein, but because they’re liquid in their raw word, beings are sometimes unsure about how to measure them.
In general, two cooked entire eggs are the size of a palm. Four cooked egg whites are also the size of an average palm.
Of course, actual quantities may go based on the size of your individual palm.
One question we’ve gotten about eggs: Why do two eggs tally as a palm of protein when they only have about 6 grams of protein each?( So 12 grams of protein in total .)
It’s a good question. First, it’s important to remember 😛 TAGEND
With hand segments, we’re using our hands to guess the section immensity. We’re not reverse-engineering the parcels based on how many macros are in a imparted food.
2 eggs are the size of an average palm, which is why they’re weighed as one palm of protein.
If you’re wondering how this impacts your total protein uptake, the answer goes back to the idea of presuming a mixed uptake of a variety of different protein sources.
Overall, we estimate that each palm of protein is approximately 20 to 30 grams of protein. It’s true two eggs provide less protein than, say, a palm of chicken heart. But … a palm of chicken breast is actually above that 20 – to 30 -gram range.
The idea: Most sources–but not all–will shore in that 20 – to 30 -gram array. And the average of all the different protein sources you eat will certainly end up in that range, even if there are some individual exclusions( like eggs and chicken breast ).
Cookies, ice cream, chips( and other combination nutrients)
With naturally-occurring or minimally-processed foods, it’s generally best to assign only one paw portion to a food.
But with these highly-processed “compound” nutrients, you’ll want to assign two( or more) pas fractions. Because just like dairy commodities that are full-fat and highly sweetened, they count as both solid and carbs.
Here’s an easy way to account for highly-processed and compound menus: one handful is equal to one thumb of overweight and one cupped hand of carbs.
Soda and liquor
Unfortunately, a suffice of soda doesn’t certainly are appropriate to a cupped paw. Regardless, consider a 12 -ounce can of non-diet soda as one cupped hand of carbs.
Certainly, eight ounces would be preferable from the standpoint of physical width( and carbohydrate total ), but 12 ounces genuinely streamlines the process, as these refreshments most often come pre-packaged this way.
( This is similar to how we account for bananas, apples, oranges, pears, and other fruits of different sizes, since they’re “pre-packaged” by nature .)
Again, the consistency of how you estimate your hand portions is actually the most important factor.
As for juice, consider an 8-ounce glass of juice to be one cupped hand of carbs.
In countless rooms, booze should be its own portion category, as the vast majority of its calories are be obtained from its alcohol material( 7 kcal/ gram ), not its carb, protein or solid content.
This applies to pretty much all alcohol, be it light beer, microbrew/ spacecraft beer, wine-coloured, hard-boiled ciders, and spirits.
A “serving” of alcohol is about 5 ounces for wine-colored, 1 ounce for beings( speciman: vodka, whiskey, tequila ), and 12 ounces for beer.
However, with increases of craft beers, such as double IPAs that have much higher alcohol content than “regular” beer, the standard “beer serving” doesn’t hold up as well as it once did.
Most “regular” beer is about 4 to 5 percent booze by volume( ABV ). Many craft beers can be as high as 9 percent ABV, some even contacting 15 to 20 percentage ABV.
And since booze itself equips calories( again, 7 kcal/ gram ), double-faced or tripling the alcohol material dramatically increases the calorie content.
Additionally, countless skill beers have higher quantities of carbs than “regular” beers. The quantity of carbs in a beer depends on how it’s made.
If the brew has a thicker mouthfeel, darker impression, and sweeter spice, it will most probably have more carbs. The amount of carbs in a 12 ounce “serving” of brew compass from 2 to 16 grams. Plus, numerous workmanship beers come in 16 ounce widths, or beers, which means they are 33 percentage larger, and thus equip 33 percentage more alcohol, carbs, and calories.
Is your pate rotating more? Don’t overcomplicate. Like we said, simpler is better.
For hand portion purposes, we recommend weighing them as follows 😛 TAGEND
A serving of wine-coloured, spirits or “regular” beer tallies as one cupped hand of carbs or 1 thumb of solid. A performing of dessert wine, candied character( e.g. gin and tonic, margarita ), or sweeter/ high-alcohol/ craftsmanship brew countings as two portions–either 2 cupped hands of carbs, 2 thumbs of solid, or 1 of each.
One last-place note on alcohol: While you can count your booze intake with paw portions, it is still important to be mindful of your overall number of boozes.( You can learn more here about how all drinking comes with potential health effects .)
Question# 7: “How do I weigh portions for mixed-food dinners? ”
Dishes comprised of a big mix of foods, such as soups and stews, can make it touchy to ascribe hand sections( just as they makes it very difficult if you’re tracking macros or calories ).
You simply have to eyeball it, and become your best guess, peculiarly if you didn’t determine the banquet yourself.
Ultimately, the general goal is to get a portion of protein, veggies, tone carbs, and/ or healthful solids in each serving. This is relatively easy to do when cooking for yourself. When chewing dinners just made by others, simply guesstimate as well as you can.
Most importantly, if the goal is anything other than heavines income, ingest gradually and mindfully, until satisfied.
Often, mixed-food banquets like this are a combination of protein, carbs, and solids, but are a bit lower in veggies. Contributing a vegetable on the side can be very helpful. And supplementing additional protein can also be helpful if the banquet seems to have a greater proportion of carbs and fats( which they are usually do ).
One thing to remember here: For meals you have often, “set it and forget it.” Meaning, establish how you’ll gauge the hand fractions, and consistently follow that approach. That practice, if you ever want to adjust your uptake, you’ll know how to count the hand fractions.( If you decide to eat half the usual amount of a soup, you’d then merely count half the usual hand sections .)
Question# 8: “Should I tally legumes and lentils as protein or carbs? ”
Legumes and lentils contain both protein and carbs, so where should they be taken into account?
Answer: It depends on the meal itself and/ or the eating wording of the individual.
If someone is fully plant-based/ vegan, then it’s likely the legumes or lentils will weigh as their protein root, since those are probably the most protein-dense menus they’re downing in a thrown meal.
For most other eaters, beans and legumes are mostly weigh as a carb generator, since they are far richer in carbs than protein.
But they can also count as both … under certain conditions.
Our suggestion: Choose the most protein-rich food( premising there is one) as your protein generator, and slit the other pieces from there.
Examples 😛 TAGEND
Chicken with nuts, broccoli and olive oil Beans with rice, broccoli and olive oil Two portions of beans with broccoli and olive oil One section of beans with broccoli and olive oil
In example 1, chicken is the protein( the most protein-rich part of the dish ), beans are the carbs, broccoli is the vegetable, and olive oil is the fat.
In example 2, beans are the protein( the most protein-rich part of the dish ), rice is the carb, broccoli is the vegetable, and olive oil is the fat.
In example 3, one providing of nuts would count as protein, and the other serving would count as carbs. In this scenario, it gets more difficult because it’s less clear-cut than the first two examples.
In example 4, it would depend on the eater. Omnivore? Then we’d likely count the nuts as a carb. Plant-based? Then we’d likely count the beans as a protein.
Question# 9: “What do I do when I’m not reading decisions with paw segments? ”
You can always consider tweaking your hand segments, but before you do that it can be helpful to understand realistic frequencies of progress.
Stick with a consistent number of hand segments for at least two weeks and monitor your progress before trying to switch things up. This allows enough time to determine whether you’re getting closer to your goal–or not.
If your goal is fatty loss …
How fast you can lose body fat depends on how regularly you can, or just wanted to, follow the guidelines you’re given.
Realistic rates of fatty loss per week
Progress% Body Weight Men Women
Extreme 1-1.5% body weight ~2-3 lb( 0.91 -1. 36 kg) ~1.65-2.5 lb( 0.75 -1. 13 kg)
Acceptable 0.5-1% person load ~1-2 lb( 0.45 -0. 91 kg) ~0.8-1.65 lb( 0.36 -0. 75 kg)
Pleasant <0.5% figure load ~<1 lb( 0.45 kg) ~<0.8 lb( 0.36 kg)
Here’s how to quantify each of these categories 😛 TAGEND
Extreme: Expects about 90 to 100 percent consistency.
Reasonable: Asks about 70 to 85 percent consistency.
Comfortable: Expects about 50 to 65 percent consistency.
Clearly, the more consistent you are, the faster your progress, and the more fatty you may lose.
It’s also important to realize that fatty loss is rarely linear. It fluctuates from day to day and week to week. The point is to see an overall trend downward over time.
But if you’re not seeing that trend…
You can adjust your hand portions by eliminating 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/ or 1 to 2 thumbs of fattens from your daily intake.( That’s 2 to 3 total portions of carbs and fattens, blended .) This works out to eating about 250 calories less per day.
If your goal is muscle gain …
The ability to gain muscle is dependent on age, biological copulation, genetics, and consistency with food intake, along with resistance training experience, ferocity, frequency, wording, volume, and more.
Reasonable paces of muscle increase per month
Fitness level Men Women
Beginner 1-1.5% torso weight ~1.5-2.5 lb( 0.68 -1. 13 kg) 0.5-0.75% figure value ~0.65-1 lb( 0.29 -0. 45 kg)
Intermediate 0.5-0.75% person weight ~0.75-1.25 lb( 0.34 -0. 56 kg) 0.25-0.375% body weight ~0.325-0.5 lb( 0.14 -0. 23 kg)
Advanced 0.25-0.375% person weight ~0.375-0.625 lb( 0.17 -. 28 kg) 0.125-0.1875% organization value ~0.1625-0.25 lb( 0.07 -0. 11 kg)
Much like fatty loss, muscle amplification is often not linear. Progress seems to come in fits and bursts, particularly after the first time of dedicated training.
But if you’re not gaining muscle as expected…
Simply add 1 to 2 cupped fews of carbs and/ or 1 to 2 digits of overweights to your daily intake.( Again, that’s 2 to 3 total a fraction of carbs and solids, combined .) This works out to an increase of about 250 calories a day.
Want to learn more? Here’s a deep dive into how to adjust your components when you’re not viewing progress, plus a nifty downloadable reference guide on how to nip your intake to get better results.
Question #10: “How do I get skeptical patients on board with trying entrust portions? ”
If you’re a coach, you may have patients was just about to counting calories and/ or macros, who don’t believe that hand sections could possibly deliver the same results.
On the other hand, you might have patients who don’t count anything, promoting a more instinctive procedure instead.
There’s nothing wrong with either of these approaches.( Here’s more info on how hand fractions, macro counting, calorie counting and intuitive eating comparison .)
But when a client isn’t interpret the research results they’re looking for with their current nutrient uptake tracking technique, you might have a hunch that hand parcels could help.
So how do you help hand-portion skeptics?
Treat using hand sections as an experiment.
Self-experimentation is one of the cornerstones of our very own coaching program.( Learn more: 3 diet ventures that can change your eating habits .)
Why? It takes away the pressure to make a “perfect” nutrition choice. If you experiment with something and it doesn’t work out–no big deal. You’re one pace closer to figuring out what works for you by process of elimination.
And best suit situation? You find something that are actually does work for you.
So if your client is willing to try out hand components for two weeks, make it an experiment.
Encourage them to gather their data about the experience like a scientist, without judgement.
At the end of the two weeks, check in to see how the experimentation ran, and decide how you’ll move forward together.
We find that hand fractions work for countless( if not most !) of our patrons formerly “theyre trying” them. But be open to the idea that your consumer may still feel uncertain about paw fractions after their experimentation is done. That’s okay.
Every person is different, and you never know exactly how a particular way of dining was working until you try.
Bonus question: “Okay, but are there occasions when paw fractions aren’t appropriate? ”
People who want to eat, move, and live better generally do well with side components. They’re convenient, easy to understand, and most customizable with very little struggle involved.
But it’d be wrong to say that hand components are hands-down the best approaching for everyone.
Different approaches work for different types of points. Ultimately, whether you choose to use hand fractions, PN’s plate method, macro weighing, nutrient timing protocols, or any other nutritional implement depends on what you hope to achieve, or the “job to be done.”
In special, mitt fractions may not be the freedom approach for people who have the most aggressive aesthetic and act goals.
For instance, professional jocks and physique representations may need a more precise strategy, such as macro check or even a strict banquet proposal. It’s the same with contestants who need to cut weight or reach a specific body fat percentage–such as in preparation for a UFC fight.
Keep in judgment: These parties are essentially being paid to eat this road. It’s part of their hassle. And that comes with tradeoffs.
( If you’re wondering what those tradeoffs might look like, check out our rich on the cost of getting lean .)
There will likewise be some people who try hand portions and simply don’t like them.
For example, people who love counts and data might find moving macros and calories along with body modifications empowering. These kinfolks are also frequently emotionally detached from the numbers–seeing them as information rather than assigning them “good” or “bad” values.
These parties might experiment with side segments, as described above, and say, “Nah, I’m good.” That’s valid.
It actually comes down to this 😛 TAGEND
Hand portions work for a lot of–if not most–people. But there are always exceptions, because there’s no single best route to eat.
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1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration( Current as of 9/20/ 2018 ). Guidance for Industry: Guide for Developing and Using Data Bases for Nutrition Labeling.
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