How do I Measure My Food?
Intuitive eaters can “eyeball” their servings. They look at their plate and know if it’s enough or too much. Of course, it takes a little practice to get to the point, so here are a couple systems of measurement to get you started.
On the Food Lists, you’ll find these two systems to the right of each food item. The first involves a number and a traditional unit of measurement (cup, ounce, etc). The second involves a part of your hand. They’re designed to give you varying degrees of control. You can use one or the other or a combination of both. Here’s how they work:
The Micromanagement System
This is the system for you if you really, really want to know exactly how much you’re eating. If you travel with a kitchen scale and use a calculator watch to give an exact 20% tip in restaurants, this is the system for you. It’s the best system for hitting (roughly) exact caloric goals.
Also on this site, we’ve provided a list of exact calories as well as exact carbohydrate, fat, and protein grams for each of the food plans. You’ll probably want to use that too.
The Way of The Hand
If you can’t be bothered with all that measuring, this plan is a great way to take the pressure off with more of an educated guesstimate approach. The Way of The Hand uses, you guessed it, your hand to measure foods. Here’s a great chart that provides a quick system of measurement.
You’ll notice a “+” after some of these measurements on the Food Lists section. As great as this system is, there are a few items that didn’t quite fit, so when you see that “+” just add a little bit more.
The chief criticism of this method is that everyone has different sized hands. This may be true, but bigger people also tend to have hands and generally bigger people can get away with slightly more calories, because, you know, they’re bigger. But frankly, hand size doesn’t mater all that much. Caloric differences due to hand size are minor and inconsequential considering the fact that the Food Lists are packed with healthy foods, which are exactly the kinds of foods you want to get your hands on.