What is “a portion”?
We are all different shapes sizes and so a portion will be different for every person. Here is a rough guide. I find this is the best way to judge your food and far less time consuming and more reliable than counting calories. You can do this anywhere and by eliminating processed foods and opting for fresh whole foods it’s hard to get it wrong.
Protein. When choosing protein have a piece that is the size of the palm of your hand (not your friends hand 😉 ) This is does not include your fingers – only the palm.
Carbohydrates come in 3 variations. Starch, Sugar, NSP (Non starch polysaccharide) – fibre/veggies.
When choosing starchy carbohydrates a portion is the size of your closed hand. If you can limit these for 30 days you will notice a huge difference in your results. Aim to eat your starchy carbs either at breakfast time or after intense exercise.
Generally one portion will be the amount you can scoop up in your hands but feel free to top up on vegetables in your meals as they contain vital nutrients and are a low energy carbohydrate.
One portion of fruit will be the amount you can easily hold in your hand so scoop them up or pile them on your hand to get an idea.
Nuts & Seeds are high in energy so one portion is the amount that you could fit inside a closed hand. Oil portions – 1 Tablespoon. Dense fatty foods – the size of your thumb.
How should I get my 5 a day?
The best way to get your 5 fruit and veg per day is to have at least 2 vegetables with 2 meals per day and one portion of fruit. Fruit is a high sugar carbohydrate and can cause dental problems so please don’t try to eat all of your ‘5 a day’ in only fruits and limit fruit juice to one portion per day. Always choose a variety of colours across fruit and veg to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients and not just a limited amount. Eat the rainbow! Fruit and vegetables contain fibre and are great for digestion so pack in more!
Please note that the UK Government recommended 5 a day is the bare minimum required to prevent disease so we urge you to get double that.
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