Portion Control – A Simple Guide

Portion Control – A Simple Guide

6th October 2019

The rising use of technologies that aim on improve our health is booming. On the flip side we're becoming more ensnared in numbers (because that's just what we need, more numbers to fraternise with!). We've apps on smart phones telling us whether we've hit 10,000 steps for the day. We strap heart rate monitors around our chests to see if we're hitting the “red zone”. And how about trying to track every mere morsel that passes through your mouth from dusk until dawn every day? Sounds like a life of monotonously measuring things that for most don't need to be measured, just controlled.


With ever expanding waist lines – the average male in the UK has a 37 inch waist which was 34 inches in the 1960’s – there has to be a simple yet effective way in controlling the amount of calories we consume without trying to measure everything!

Thankfully there is. And it’s attached to you right at the end of your arms with five fingers, knuckles and a palm – yep, your hands!

As a handy (sorry!) guide the people at precision nutrition devised a portion control method that uses your hands as measuring tools. Portable and proportional to your body, their a rather neat and effective tool to help visually construct your meals.

So we have our base, which when consistently used eating whole unprocessed foods will deliver adequate calories and nutrients, helping us maintain a healthy body weight and energy balance. But there are certain scenarios in which we’ll need to adjust accordingly;

If you need less food because you’re…

  • smaller in stature
  • feeling too full after meals
  • eating more frequently through the day
  • not very active
  • trying to lose weight

…then start by removing a cupped handful of carbohydrates and/or a thumb sized portion of fats from two meals in your day. Through my own practical knowledge of coaching others I’d recommend removing carbohydrates first from your breakfast. Then, if needed, remove a portion of fats from your evening/post exercise meal.


If you need more food because you’re…

  • larger in stature
  • not feeling full after meals
  • eat less frequently through the day
  • very active
  • trying to gain muscle

…then start by adding a cupped handful of carbohydrates and/or a thumb sized portion of fats to two meals in your day. Look to add the carbohydrates to your post exercise meal. The fats would be best added to your breakfast.

For women it’s a case of halving both the base portions (one of everything) and specific scenarios (½ on carbohydrates and fats, whether adding or removing).

A simple time saving system that can yield great results just as effectively as counting calories. Make sure you pay attention to the outcomes and adjust accordingly. And have a little patience – it may take a few weeks for the results to show…


Yours in health and love,