Measuring Your Food For Dummies
Why is it important to determine the right amount of food in a serving size congruent to your meal plan or diet?
Simple! If you eat too little, you could rob your body of the nutrients it needs to function properly, and if you eat too much, you could ingest too many calories leading to weight gain.
When you’re trying to lose weight and you eat too little, your body goes into starvation mode and holds onto almost everything it can, storing a lot of that food as excess fat. Your body becomes very efficient at storing fat when it is in deprivation mode, and only when you’re feeding it enough, and enough of the right things will it feel that it is safe to lose weight.
When you’re following a meal plan, it is essential to measure your food. Usually you will not need more than a food scale (typically use for measuring ounces or grams), some measuring cups, and measuring spoons.
Proteins and more dense carbohydrates like potatoes, some vegetables and fruits are usually measured on a food scale, while other carbs such as rice, quinoa, spinach, beans- things that are typically just not very convenient to measure on a scale are usually going to be measured in a cup. On the back of every nutrition label, it will always state the serving size in the unit which that food should be measured in.
Keep in mind that fats are the ones you’ll always be needing the least of to get the most calories. Fats like nuts might be measured in ounces, while runny fats like oils or nut butters are usually always measured in measuring spoons.
When you’re not on a meal plan, it is still really important to keep portion sizes under control. Even if you consider yourself a “relatively healthy” person, it’s good to know how much food you should really be putting on your plate!
You can look up different portion control guides online to help you figure out what good portion sizes for different foods are. This will help you eyeball certain things without having to measure them out precisely to know what a healthy amount is.
Your hand can actually be used as a great portion control guide;
Your fist = ~1 cup
A rounded handful = ~1/2 cup
Your palm = ~3oz (if you’re measuring something more dense like meat)
A small handful = ~1/4 cup
Your thumb = ~1 tablespoon
The tip of your thumb = 1 teaspoon
As a rule of thumb… your thumb is always a good one to measure out fats with, because you usually don’t want to be eating a fist of fat, right? While your fist would be better to measure out carbs with, your palm would be good to measure out your proteins with.
Keeping your portion sizes and serving sizes under control will help keep your body from experiencing those unexpected weight gain days, and help you feel more balanced and in control of your body. Measure your food for best results when making an effort to change to your physique.
Don’t let yourself get intimidated by the number on the scale, especially not the food scale!