Oftentimes, the simplest method is the most effective method.
That’s one of the large-scale concludes we frequently advocate our hand portion 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 validated through our experience with over 100,000 buyers , no meat tracking system is perfect.
Like any other method of meat moving, questions are bound to come up once you( or your consumers) start using hand parcels.
So to help you master the system, we’ve put together this “handy” guide.
It includes answers to all the most pressing hand-portion questions our coaches receive–plus some you( or your clients) might not have even thought of yet.
Use the links below to jump-start immediately to the answers you’re looking for, or give the whole FAQ a speak to learn how to troubleshoot the most common issues ahead of time. Question# 1 😛 TAGEND
Question# 1: “How do I explain hand portions to my patients ?! ”
Question# 2: “How accurate are hand portions? ”
Question# 3: “How numerous handwriting sections should I dine? ”
Question# 6: “How do I handle nutrients that don’t fit? ”
Question# 7: “How do I account for mixed-food dinners? ”
Question# 8: “Are legumes and lentils protein or carbs? ”
10 common hand-portion questions, refuted
Question# 1: “How do I explain hand portions to my purchasers ?! ”
Keep it short and sweet.
We’d recommend starting with something like 😛 TAGEND
You use your hand as a personalized, portable portioning implement.
You’re not actually evaluating your nutrient, but instead use your hand to estimate segment immensity. The following idol summarizes it up nicely( 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, labour lunches, buffet restaurants, and more.( It also mean you don’t have to listen to your table mates groan as you strenuously search for calorie countings in your meat moving app .)
# 2: Your hands are generally proportional to your form and ever the same size. So they serve as a reliable reference point–without the need for measuring cups or a menu proportion.( No need to wonder if your scale’s batteries are dying, or sheepishly pull your measuring cups out of your luggage 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 paw portions? ”
Our internal computations picture side parcels are about 95 percentage as accurate as carefully weighing, weighing, and tracking your nutrient. 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 percentage, the five percent difference here is negligible for most. 1
Plus, as each mitt component correlates to a certain amount of protein, carbs, and/ or solid, the method used weighs calories and macros for you.
It can help to see what that might look like in real-food periods, so the tables below provision attitude on what we consider general side fraction sizes.
1 palm( protein) ~4 oz( 115 g) cooked meat/ tofu, 1 beaker Greek yogurt/ curd cheese, 1 dollop protein powder, 2 whole eggs
1 fist( veggies) ~1 bowl non-starchy vegetables( spinach, carrots, cauliflower, spices, etc .)
1 cupped mitt( carbs)~ 2/3 cup( 130 g) cooked cereals/ legumes( rice, lentils, oats, etc .), 1 medium outcome, 1 medium tuber( potatoes, yams, etc .)
1 digit( flabs) ~1 tablespoon( 14 g) lubricants, nuts, seeds, nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate, etc.
1 palm( protein) ~3 oz (8 5 g) cooked meat/ tofu, 1 beaker Greek yogurt/ “farmers cheese”, 1 dollop protein powder, 2 entire eggs
1 fist( veggies) ~1 beaker non-starchy veggies( spinach, carrots, cauliflower, peppers, etc .)
1 cupped hand( carbs) ~1/2 beaker( 100 g) cooked grains/ legumes( rice, lentils, oats, etc .), 1 medium return, 1 medium tuber( potatoes, yams, etc .)
1 digit( fat) ~1 tablespoon( 14 g) petroleums, nuts, grains, nut butters, cheese, dark chocolate, etc.
Want to see the math? That’s totally fair, specially if you’re a numbers-oriented kind of person.
In the tables below, “youre seeing” what each section is approximately equivalent to in grams of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and calories.
Note that the side parcel structure premises a mixed intake, symbolizing you’ll eat various food sources of each category. In other oaths, it premises you’ll eat different protein generators like chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, and tofu for protein, as opposed to living on chicken breast.
Also, as you can see in the table below, most meat aren’t purely one macronutrient. That’s okay–the hand portion system histories for that, too.
Men’s component 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 fat, 25 kcal
1 cupped hand of carbs~ 3 g protein, 25 g carbs, 1 g fatty, 120 kcal
1 digit fatties~ 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 fat, 130 kcal
1 fist veggies~ 1.5 g protein, 5 g carbs, 0 g overweight, 25 kcal
1 cupped mitt of carbs~ 3 g protein, 22 g carbs, 1 g fat, 110 kcal
1 digit flabs~ 2 g protein, 2 g carbs, 8 g flab, 90 kcal
Make no mistake: Hand segments aren’t as accurate as macro tracking. But they are accurate enough to help you routinely move your nutrient intake, and reach your goals( including transforming your body, if that’s what you’re after ). And that’s what really matters.
Question# 3: “How many handwriting portions should I dine every 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 meet their needs with a starting framework of 😛 TAGEND
1-2 palms of protein-dense meat at each snack 1-2 fists of vegetables at each banquet 1-2 cupped fews of carbohydrates at most dinners 1-2 digits of fat-dense meat at most dinners
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, segment, and macro calculator available.
The calculator makes into account 😛 TAGEND
Your personal details( height, senility, value, copulation) Physical ” activities( both daily progress and purposeful employ) Nutrition and fitness purposes( weight loss, muscle income, organization recomposition, better health, peak performance) The date you want to reach your goal by( within reason !) The reforming and adaptive mood of human metabolism( a major welfare of this calculator)
Here’s what’s really cool 😛 TAGEND
Once it thinks your calorie and macronutrient needs, it automatically converts those numerals into hand fractions.
And after those are calculated, we’ll send you a free, personalized usher to using our hand portion system for touching your calorie and macro targets.
Question# 4: “Can I do hand sections with Paleo, keto, plant-based eating, and other nutritions? ”
No matter the ingesting mode, the answer is almost surely yes.
In fact, our hand parcels calculator gives you the option of choosing from a variety of eating vogues, including Mediterranean, Paleo, vegetarian, ketogenic, and perfectly plant-based.( If you’ll eat basically anything with no regulations, there’s an option for that, extremely .)
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 be held accountable for that. Same starts if "youd 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 eat four meals a day. At two of your snacks, you might nix the digit of fatties, instead lending 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 pas sections organisation is endlessly adaptable to a variety of eating styles, with almost no math necessitated.
Question# 5: “Do I ascertain my components before or after cooking? ”
One of the most common questions asked about consuming your hands to measure fractions is whether the mitt fractions are for cooked or uncooked foods.
The answer is both.
Hand components are for plating your meat , not cooking it. For nutrients you chew cooked, you reckon them formerly cooked( e.g ., meat, pasta, rice ). For menus you dine fresh, you guess them raw.
And if a meat can be eaten both cooked or fresh( such as spinach, for example) then you would use your hand to gauge the amount that is going onto your sheet, whether you cooked it or not.( While there is a calorie difference between the cooked and uncooked form, that only really significances for tribes with the most advanced aesthetic points, such as bodybuilders ).
That way, paw components can be used anywhere: dwelling, eateries, buffets, meets, at a friend’s house, the office.
Question# 6: “How do I treat nutrients that don’t fit perfectly into different categories? ”
Most menus clearly fit into the hand portion lists: protein, carbohydrates, fatty, and vegetables.( If you’re not sure about a certain food, this infographic will provide answers .)
But some meat and sucks don’t seem like they fit well into the hand-size parcel system.
The good story: The report contains workarounds.
Most notably problematic are liquids and foods made from multiple parts( as opposed to whole foods ).
Here’s how to handle them. And no, you don’t have to pour liquors into your cupped hand to quantify them!
Cow’s milk , non-Greek yogurt, and kefir are knotty as they’re a quite even mix of protein, carbohydrates, and solid, or can vary depending on the fat rank you have selected( for instance, whole, low fat, skim ).
We recommend inducing the decision of how to count a specific type of milk or yogurt based on the fat or carbohydrate content.
Generally, consider 1 cup (8 ounces) of whole milk concoctions a “thumb” of fat.( Yes, even though it’s larger than a thumb and also provides some protein and carbs .) Anything lower in overweight( 0 to 2 percent) is generally considered a cupped mitt of carbs( while also providing some overweights and protein ). A beaker of anything highly-sweetened( chocolate milk, strawberry yogurt) is generally considered a cupped side of carbs( while also providing fattens and protein ).
So what happens in this situation: You have a full-fat yogurt or entire milk that’s most candied? Is it a overweight or carb?
Think of it this nature: If it’s previously full-fat, you know it’s a thumb of fatty. But if a great deal of sugar is also added to it, then it’s also a cupped entrust of carbs.
The key here is to pick an approach, and apply it commonly. For most people, this is probably more important than the actual classification itself.
That’s because the hand portion system once has built-in buffers: It presupposes your protein, solid, and carb beginnings contain smaller quantities of the other macros.
What’s more, if you’re consistent with how you reckon 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 category would also depend on whether or not they’re sweetened.
Generally, unsweetened versions( like plateau almond milk) don’t count as anything, as they typically only have about 30 to 40 calories in a whole cup (8 ounces ), and are often depleted in relatively small amounts.
A honied version, however, would be considered a cupped side of carbs.
Again, the key is to pick an coming and follow it consistently.
Eggs are considered a protein, but because they’re liquid in their fresh anatomy, people 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 amounts may alternate based on the size of your individual palm.
One question we’ve gotten about eggs: Why do two eggs weigh 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 components, we’re using our hands to gauge the component sizing. We’re not reverse-engineering the fractions based on how many macros are in a given food.
2 eggs are the size of an average palm, which is why they’re counted as one palm of protein.
If you’re wondering how this impacts your total protein uptake, the answer goes back to the idea of premising a mixed uptake of a variety of different protein sources.
Overall, we estimate that each palm of protein is nearly 20 to 30 grams of protein. It’s true two eggs provision less protein than, say, a palm of chicken heart. But … a palm of chicken tit is actually above that 20 – to 30 -gram range.
The idea: Most sources–but not all–will region in that 20 – to 30 -gram straddle. And the average of all the different protein sources you eat will certainly end up in that range, even if there are some individual exceptions( like eggs and chicken breast ).
Cookies, ice cream, chips( and other deepen meat)
With naturally-occurring or minimally-processed foods, it’s generally best to assign only one pas portion to a food.
But with these highly-processed “compound” foods, you’ll want to assign two( or more) paw sections. Because just like dairy makes that are full-fat and most sweetened, they count as both overweight and carbs.
Here’s an easy way to account for highly-processed and complex menus: one handful is similar to one digit of solid and one cupped hand of carbs.
Soda and juice
Unfortunately, a helping of soda doesn’t certainly are appropriate to a cupped mitt. Regardless, consider a 12 -ounce can of non-diet soda as one cupped hand of carbs.
Certainly, eight ounces is preferred from the standpoint of physical length( and carbohydrate total ), but 12 ounces certainly simplifies 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 fruit of different sizes, since they’re “pre-packaged” by nature .)
Again, the consistency of how you approximate your hand parcels is actually the most important factor.
As for liquid, consider an 8-ounce glass of liquor to be one cupped hand of carbs.
In countless routes, alcohol should be its own portion category, as the largest part of its calories are derived from its booze material( 7 kcal/ gram ), not its carb, protein or fat content.
This applies to pretty much all alcohol, be it light beer, microbrew/ workmanship beer, wine-colored, hard-handed ciders, and spirits.
A “serving” of alcohol is about 5 ounces for wine-colored, 1 ounce for forces( example: vodka, whiskey, tequila ), and 12 ounces for beer.
However, with the rise of plane brews, 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 formerly did.
Most “regular” beer is about 4 to 5 percent booze by capacity( ABV ). Many craft beers can be as high-pitched as 9 percent ABV, some even contacting 15 to 20 percentage ABV.
And since alcohol itself supplies calories( again, 7 kcal/ gram ), double-faced or tripling the alcohol content dramatically increases the calorie content.
Additionally, many skill beers have higher extents of carbs than “regular” beers. The sum of carbs in a beer depends on how it’s made.
If the brew has a thicker mouthfeel, darker illusion, and sweeter spice, it will most likely have more carbs. The extent of carbs in a 12 ounce “serving” of brew assortments from 2 to 16 grams. Plus, many workmanship brews come in 16 ounce sizings, or pints, which means they are 33 percent bigger, and thus offer 33 percent more booze, carbs, and calories.
Is your intelligence rotating hitherto? Don’t overcomplicate. Like we said, simpler is better.
For hand portion purposes, we recommend counting them as follows 😛 TAGEND
A serving of wine, spirits or “regular” beer tallies as one cupped hand of carbs or 1 digit of solid. A acting of dessert wine, candied spirit( e.g. gin and tonic, margarita ), or sweeter/ high-alcohol/ spacecraft brew countings as two portions–either 2 cupped handwritings of carbs, 2 digits of fatty, or 1 of each.
One last tone on booze: While you can count your alcohol intake with side sections, it is still important to be mindful of your overall number of alcohols.( You can learn more now about how all drinking comes with potential health effects .)
Question# 7: “How do I count fractions for mixed-food banquets? ”
Dishes comprised of a big mix of menus, such as soups and mixtures, can make it difficult to apportion pas parcels( just as they makes it very difficult if you’re tracking macros or calories ).
You simply have to eyeball it, and clear your best guess, especially if you didn’t construct the banquet yourself.
Ultimately, the general goal is to get a portion of protein, veggies, excellence carbs, and/ or healthful fatties in each sufficing. This is relatively easy to do when cooking for yourself. When devouring dinners just made by others, simply guesstimate as well as you can.
Most importantly, if the goal is anything other than weight addition, dine slowly and mindfully, until satisfied.
Often, mixed-food dinners like this are a combination of protein, carbs, and fatties, but are a bit lower in veggies. Lending a vegetable on the side can be very helpful. And including added protein can also be helpful if the meal seems to have a greater proportion of carbs and solids( which they often do ).
One thing to remember here: For dinners you have often, “set it and forget it.” Meaning, establish how you’ll gauge the entrust parcels, and consistently follow that approach. That mode, if you ever want to adjust your intake, you’ll know how to count the hand fractions.( If you decide to eat half the usual amount of a soup, you’d then simply weigh half the usual hand parcels .)
Question# 8: “Should I count 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 snack itself and/ or the eating style of the individual.
If someone is fully plant-based/ vegan, then it’s likely the legumes or lentils will count as their protein beginning, since those are probably the most protein-dense menus they’re exhausting in a passed meal.
For most other eaters, beans and legumes would generally weigh as a carb beginning, 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( acquiring there is one) as your protein source, and slot the other components from there.
Examples 😛 TAGEND
Chicken with nuts, broccoli and olive oil Beans with rice, broccoli and olive oil Two a fraction of beans with broccoli and olive oil One parcel of nuts with broccoli and olive oil
In example 1, chicken is the protein( the most protein-rich part of the dish ), nuts are the carbs, broccoli is the vegetable, and olive oil is the fat.
In example 2, nuts 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 serving 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 identifying develops with hand fractions? ”
You can always consider tweaking your hand components, but before you do that it can be helpful to understand realistic paces of progress.
Stick with a consistent number of hand sections for at least two weeks and check 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 fat loss …
How fast you can lose body fat depends on how consistently you are eligible to, or want to, follow administrative guidelines you’re given.
Realistic rates of overweight 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)
Rational 0.5-1% torso load ~1-2 lb( 0.45 -0. 91 kg) ~0.8-1.65 lb( 0.36 -0. 75 kg)
Cozy <0.5% form weight ~<1 lb( 0.45 kg) ~<0.8 lb( 0.36 kg)
Here’s how to quantify each of these categories 😛 TAGEND
Extreme: Necessaries about 90 to 100 percent consistency.
Reasonable: Involves about 70 to 85 percentage consistency.
Comfortable: Requires about 50 to 65 percentage consistency.
Clearly, the more consistent you are, the faster your progress, and the more fat 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 objective is to see an overall trend downward over time.
But if you’re not help to ensure that trend…
You can adjust your hand parcels by removing 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/ or 1 to 2 thumbs of overweights from your daily intake.( That’s 2 to 3 total portions of carbs and overweights, blended .) This works out to eating about 250 calories less per day.
If your goal is muscle addition …
The ability to gain muscle is dependent on age, biological copulation, genetics, and compatibility with food intake, along with resistance training experience, strength, frequency, style, capacity, and more.
Reasonable frequencies of muscle income per month
Fitness level Men Women
Beginner 1-1.5% mas weight ~1.5-2.5 lb( 0.68 -1. 13 kg) 0.5-0.75% person force ~0.65-1 lb( 0.29 -0. 45 kg)
Intermediate 0.5-0.75% form weight ~0.75-1.25 lb( 0.34 -0. 56 kg) 0.25-0.375% organization force ~0.325-0.5 lb( 0.14 -0. 23 kg)
Advanced 0.25-0.375% torso weight ~0.375-0.625 lb( 0.17 -. 28 kg) 0.125-0.1875% person load ~0.1625-0.25 lb( 0.07 -0. 11 kg)
Much like fatty loss, muscle gain is often not linear. Progress seems to come in fits and spurts, particularly after the first year of dedicated training.
But if you’re not gaining muscle as expected…
Simply add 1 to 2 cupped handfuls of carbs and/ or 1 to 2 digits of flabs to your daily intake.( Again, that’s 2 to 3 total a fraction of carbs and fats, compounded .) 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 sections when you’re not envisioning progress, plus a nifty downloadable reference guide on how to tweak your intake to get better results.
Question #10: “How do I get skeptical clients on board with trying hand components? ”
If you’re a coach-and-four, you may have buyers was just about to weighing calories and/ or macros, who don’t believe that hand sections could possibly deliver the same results.
On the other hand, you might have patrons who don’t count anything, promoting a more intuitive programme instead.
There’s nothing wrong with either of these approaches.( Here’s more info on how hand components, macro counting, calorie counting and intuitive eating comparison .)
But when a client isn’t see the results they’re looking for with their current nutrient intake tracking programme, you might have a hunch that hand segments could help.
So how do you facilitate hand-portion skeptics?
Treat using hand segments as an experiment.
Self-experimentation is one of the cornerstones of our very own coaching program.( Learn more: 3 diet experimentations 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 step closer to figuring out what works for you by process of elimination.
And best speciman scenario? You got something that really does work for you.
So if your client is willing to try out hand segments for 2 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 departed, and decide how you’ll move forward together.
We find that hand fractions work for numerous( if not most !) of our clients once they try them. But be open to the idea that your purchaser may still feel uncertain about side components after their venture is done. That’s okay.
Every person is different, and you never know exactly how a particular way of dining is going to work until you try.
Bonus question: “Okay, but are there occasions when mitt segments aren’t appropriate? ”
People who want to eat, move, and live better typically do well with mitt fractions. They’re convenient, easy to understand, and highly customizable with very little struggle involved.
But it’d be wrong to say that hand segments are hands-down the very best approaching for everyone.
Different approaches work for different types of objectives. Ultimately, whether you choose to use hand sections, PN’s plate method, macro counting, nutrient timing etiquettes, or any other nutritional tool depends on what you hope to achieve, or the “job to be done.”
In particular, hand portions may not be the privilege coming for people who have the most aggressive aesthetic and act goals.
For instance, professional competitors and physique sits is necessary to have a more precise strategy, such as macro include or even a strict banquet program. It’s the same with competitors who need to cut weight or reach a specific body fat percentage–such as in preparation for a UFC fight.
Keep in brain: These people are essentially being paid to eat this mode. It’s part of their hassle. And that comes with tradeoffs.
( If you’re wondering what those tradeoffs might look like, check out our aid on the cost of getting lean .)
There will also be some people who try hand segments and simply don’t like them.
For example, people who love crowds and data might find moving macros and calories along with body converts empowering. These tribes are also typically emotionally detached from the numbers–seeing them as information rather than assigning them “good” or “bad” values.
These people might experiment with pas components, as described above, and say, “Nah, I’m good.” That’s valid.
It genuinely comes down to this 😛 TAGEND
Hand parcels work for a lot of–if not most–people. But there are always exclusions, because there’s no single best way 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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