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A “handy” way to size up servings

With portion sizes so big, using visuals as a guide to guesstimate how much food is on your plate is a useful tool. I previously wrote about some visuals I’ve used in my book The Portion Teller Plan. Here, I will highlight the Handy method for estimating portions. I use this guide successfully with many of my New York City clients. You may not always have a deck of cards or CD case handy, so using your own hand serves as a helpful guide.  The “Handy Method” helps you guesstimate your portions by comparing your foods to different parts of your hand. Everyone has a different size hand, but using your hand is useful nonetheless.  If your hand is smaller than average, you are probably smaller than average, and should eat less food.

Here are some HANDY examples:

  • Two fingers                  2 oz cheese
  • Your palm                    3 oz meat
  • Your thumb                  1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Rounded handful          1/2 cup rice or pasta
  • Two handfuls                1 cup popcorn
  • One layer of your hand     ¼ cup mixed nuts

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