Methods to Do Hand Portion Math to Observe Your Macros


Reviewed by Brian St. Pierre, MS, RD


There are such a lot of methods to trace your dietary consumption.

It will possibly appear overwhelming to choose an (correct) technique that works for you.

That’s why we’ve developed the hand portion technique.

It simplifies diet monitoring in a approach that’s accessible to anybody—and might suport any of your well being and health targets.

A breakdown: The Hand Portion Technique

Precision Diet’s hand portion technique presents a simple answer to monitoring your macros, permitting you to handle your meals consumption with out weighing, measuring, or counting energy.

The strategy is easy: Estimate portion sizes together with your palms.

It’s not about meticulous measurements—reasonably, it’s about utilizing your hand as a dependable gauge for portion sizes.

What makes the hand portion technique significantly efficient is its inherent alignment together with your physique’s proportions. Plus, the scale of your grownup hand stays fixed, making certain consistency in portioning.

Right here’s an summary:

  • Protein: Your palm determines the scale of your protein portion.
  • Greens: Your clenched fist determines the scale of your veggie portion.
  • Carbohydrates: Your cupped hand determines the scale of your carb portion.
  • Fats: Your thumb determines the scale of your fats portion.

After getting an concept of what every portion appears to be like like, you’ll be able to goal to satisfy your customized each day advisable steadiness of parts.

What number of hand parts to eat

Most individuals will meet their dietary wants by consuming:

  • 1-2 palms of protein-dense meals at every meal
  • 1-2 fists of greens at every meal
  • 1-2 cupped handfuls of carbohydrates at most meals
  • 1-2 thumbs of fat-dense meals at most meals

Relying in your targets and body, it’s possible you’ll want to regulate these common suggestions up or down.

Advantages of the hand portion technique

Relating to monitoring macros, the hand portion technique presents a number of advantages:

  1. Accuracy with minimal effort: Our inside analysis reveals that hand portion monitoring is 95 p.c as correct as different monitoring strategies—however with out the hassle of meticulous measurement. Take a look at these outcomes to see for your self how properly hand portion monitoring works.
  2. May be personalized to your dietary preferences: Whether or not you observe a Mediterranean, Paleo, vegetarian, ketogenic, or absolutely plant-based food plan, you’ll be able to apply this technique.
  3. Simple to handle macronutrient splits: With the hand portion technique, you’ve the facility to fine-tune your macronutrient cut up. Alter the proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to align exactly together with your particular person wants and targets.
  4. Useful instrument for estimating calorie consumption: Every hand portion is equal to an approximate quantity of protein, carbohydrates, fats—and due to this fact energy. For instance: 1 palm protein ~ 130-145 kcal; 1 fist of veggies ~ 25 kcal; 1 cupped hand of carbs ~ 110-120 kcal; and 1 thumb fat ~ 90-100 kcal.

Assumed number of meals selections

Our hand portion system assumes a mixture of high-fat, moderate-fat, and low-fat protein sources; a mixture of fruit, starchy tubers, beans, and entire grains for carbs; and a mixture of fat-rich entire meals (similar to nuts, cheese, or avocado), blended meals (similar to pesto or nut butters), and pressed oils for fat.

And, the hand portion technique may be adjusted to suit particular person dietary preferences.

For instance, for those who’re following a ketogenic food plan, you’ll be able to merely improve your fats consumption to make up for the lower in carbohydrates.

Examples of the hand portion technique: Approximate portion sizes for every macronutrient

Listed here are some examples of how a lot you’d eat utilizing our hand portion technique.

Nevertheless, these are simply approximations. The precise portion sizes will rely upon the scale of your particular person hand and your physique’s wants.

For males

A palm-sized portion of protein equals about 4 ounces of cooked meat/tofu, 1 cup of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, 1 scoop of protein powder, or 2 entire eggs.

A fist-sized portion of greens is equal to about 1 cup of non-starchy greens similar to spinach, carrots, cauliflower, or peppers.

A cupped hand of carbs is about ⅔ cup of cooked grains or legumes, 1 medium-sized fruit, or 1 medium tuber.

A thumb-sized portion of fats is round 1 tablespoon of oils, nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocados/guacamole, cheese, and darkish chocolate.

For girls

A palm-sized portion of protein equals about 3 ounces of cooked meat/tofu, 1 cup of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, 1 scoop of protein powder, or 2 entire eggs.

A fist-sized portion of greens is equal to about 1 cup of non-starchy greens similar to spinach, carrots, cauliflower, or peppers.

A cupped hand of carbs is about ½ cup of cooked grains or legumes, 1 medium-sized fruit, or 1 medium tuber.

A thumb-sized portion of fats is round 1 tablespoon of oils, nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocados/guacamole, cheese, and darkish chocolate.

Approximate math for macronutrient parts

For number-oriented customers, based mostly on the examples above, these are the approximate macros every of the parts present.

Macros for males’s approximate parts:

  • 1 palm of protein ~ 24 g protein, 2 g carbs, 4.5 g fats, 145 kcal
  • 1 fist of veggies ~ 1.5 g protein, 5 g carbs, 0 g fats, 25 kcal
  • 1 cupped hand of carbs ~ 3 g protein, 25 g carbs, 1 g fats, 120 kcal
  • 1 thumb of fat ~ 2 g protein, 2 g carbs, 9 g fats, 100 kcal

Macros for ladies’s approximate parts:

  • 1 palm of protein ~ 22 g protein, 2 g carbs, 4 g fats, 130 kcal
  • 1 fist of veggies ~ 1.5 g protein, 5 g carbs, 0 g fats, 25 kcal
  • 1 cupped hand of carbs ~ 3 g protein, 22 g carbs, 1 g fats, 110 kcal
  • 1 thumb of fat ~ 2 g protein, 2 g carbs, 8 g fats, 90 kcal

Please do not forget that these are approximations.

All points of calorie and macronutrient calculations are based mostly on averages with recognized error charges.

Testing the accuracy of hand portion math

Within the examples beneath, we’ll show that utilizing the hand portion technique is 95 to one hundred pc as correct as fastidiously weighing, measuring, and logging every part you eat.

Instance 1

Our first instance particular person is a feminine athlete who weighs 135 kilos and has 18 p.c physique fats. She maintains a excessive activity-level, participating in two coaching classes per day. That is what she consumes in a day:

  1. Pre-workout @ 6 am: 16 oz of black espresso, 1 cup of plain low-fat Greek yogurt, 1 cup of chopped pineapple, 2 tbsp of chopped walnuts, 1 glass of water.
  2. Exercise @ 7:15-8:30 am: Sips on 16 oz of water through the coaching session.
  3. Put up-workout shake @ 9 am: 12 oz of water, 2 scoops of protein powder, 1 medium apple, 1/2 cup of old school oats, 2 cups of spinach, 1 tbsp of floor flax seed, 1 tbsp of almond butter.
  4. Lunch @ 12 pm: 3 oz of salmon, 1 cup of steamed blended veggies, 1 medium candy potato, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, 2 glasses of water.
  5. Mid-afternoon snack @ 4 pm: 1 banana, 2 tbsp of pure peanut butter, 1 glass of water.
  6. Exercise @ 5:30-6 pm: Sips on 16 oz of water through the coaching session.
  7. Put up-workout dinner @ 7 pm: 3 oz of chopped hen breast, 2 cups of cooked entire grain pasta, plus 2 cups of sautéed veggies with 2 tbsp of additional virgin olive oil, minced garlic and white cooking wine, 2 glasses of water.

When you compute the energy and macronutrients of this individual’s consumption utilizing the USDA nutrient database, you get:

  • 2672 kcal
  • 170 g protein
  • 264 g carbs
  • 104 g fats

And for those who translate this individual’s consumption into hand-size portion phrases, you get:

  • Protein = 5 palms (Greek yogurt, protein powder x 2, salmon, hen)
  • Veggies = 5 fists (spinach x 2, blended veggies, sautéed veggies x 2)
  • Carbs = 10 cupped palms (pineapple x 2, apple, oats, candy potato, banana, pasta x 4)
  • Fat = 9 thumbs (walnuts x 2, flax seed, almond butter, coconut oil, peanut butter x 2, olive oil x 2)

By multiplying these portion numbers utilizing approximate hand-portion math for ladies (discuss with the part above), the estimated consumption is:

  • 2672 kcal (exactly the identical as calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)
  • 166 g protein (4 g lower than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)
  • 273 g carbs (9 g greater than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)
  • 102 g fats (2 g lower than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)

As you’ll be able to see, the distinction between manually monitoring and utilizing our hand portion technique is a matter of just a few small grams.

Instance 2

Our second instance particular person is a reasonably lively male who weighs 210 kilos and has 17 p.c physique fats. That is what he consumes in a day:

  1. Wake @ 5:30 am: 12 oz of black espresso
  2. Breakfast @ 7 am: 4 entire eggs with a big bunch of peppers, scallions, and mushrooms cooked in a big pat of butter, positioned on an entire wheat wrap, with ~1 oz cheese, 1 cupped hand of black beans, and a few pico de gallo, massive glass of water, 12 oz black espresso.
  3. Tremendous Shake @ 10:30 am: ~10 oz of water, 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder, 2 cups of spinach, 2 cups of frozen cherries, ~1 tablespoon cacao nibs, ~1 tablespoon of chia seeds.
  4. Lunch @ 2 pm: 4 oz of turkey breast, ~⅔ cup of quinoa, 1 fist of blended veggies, 1 apple, 2 thumbs of roasted almonds, 1-2 massive glasses of water.
  5. 1-2 cups of inexperienced tea @ 3-4 pm.
  6. Dinner @ 6 pm: 8 oz of sirloin (lean), 2 cupped palms of roasted crimson potatoes with onions, 2 cups of roasted rainbow carrots, 2 tbsp of olive oil for roasting, 1 glass of wine, 1-2 massive glasses of water.

When you calculate the energy and macronutrients of this individual’s consumption utilizing the USDA nutrient database, you get:

  • 3130 kcal
  • 212 g protein
  • 283 g carbs
  • 111 g fats

And for those who put this individual’s consumption into hand portion phrases, you get:

  • Protein = 7 palms (eggs x 2, protein powder x 2, turkey, sirloin x 2)
  • Veggies = 6 fists (scallions/peppers/mushrooms/pico, spinach x 2, blended veggies, rainbow carrots x 2)
  • Carbs = 9 cupped palms (wrap, beans, cherries x 3, quinoa, apple, potato x 2)
  • Fat = 8 thumbs (butter, guacamole, cacao nibs, chia seeds, almonds x 2, olive oil x 2)
  • Alcohol = 1 (wine)

If you multiply these portion numbers utilizing approximate hand-portion math for males, the estimated consumption is:

  • 3183 kcal (53 kcal greater than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)
  • 220g protein (8 g greater than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)
  • 285g carbs (2 g greater than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)
  • 113g fats (2 g greater than calculating it with apps and spreadsheets)

As soon as once more, the hand portion technique is sort of as correct as manually weighing and monitoring parts—and far easier.

We may also help you meet your targets

Our Final Macro Calculator may also help you determine the best macronutrient ratio on your particular diet and health targets. From there, our hand portion technique can information you alongside the highway to success.



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