Savy Portion Sizes w/out Counting Calories

You’re Going To Learn
1. Understand How To Measure Portion Sizes
How much for men vs how much for women (for the most part)
2. Practice Measuring Portions
Put the portions into practice.

Diets Can Be Pain In The Butt

We get it. You’ve tried a lot of different diets. Maybe it was counting calories with points or lemon water & cayenne for a few days, or meticulously weighing your food…heck it might have even been a diet of just COOKIES (Yes, there is such a thing. Enticing, I know). We as coaches have certainly tried many of these diets. And most have fallen flat at some point.

Sure, it probably worked for a little while, but after awhile it gets old. You can only weigh so much food or read the fine print on the nutrition labels. All of this work weighs you down and can hinder getting you the results you want.

And if we’re keeping it real, what happens when you eat at a restaurant or at a friend’s house? 

So it begs the question: Why does calorie counting and diets fail in the first place? Well, these diets don’t address the underlining issue: our habits.

Your habits and behaviors are profoundly affected by your lifestyle, your emotions, your job, your family, and even how much sleep you get. These habits are automatic. You don’t think about them, you just react to the situation and go.

Even if you know what to eat and how to exercise, sometimes these things in life come first. Knowing what to eat and how to exercise is one thing; actually doing it is another.

To Count Calories Or Not… 

Did you know that your calorie counting could be off by a crazy 25%! That’s a huge margin of error. Here’s why:

  • Food Labels are based on estimates by data collected by the USDA. There’s just too many food types to test in an expensive lab, so many calorie counts are estimates (legally can vary up to 20%!)
  • We don’t absorb all the calories we eat. I think of our bodies calorie use in comparison to cars. Some can use regular gas efficiently, some don’t. You just don’t know how much calories you are actually going to use.
  • How you cook your food can change the calorie count by either adding or subtracting calories. 
  • People are awful at judging portions. Case in point: Peanut Butter. A serving of peanut butter is a tablespoon. How often do you just use a tablespoon of peanut butter? Is it a rounded tablespoon? Then you’re leaning towards 2 Tbs.


If you’re on a 2000 calorie diet, that means that you could be off by 500 calories everyday! That’s a pretty big error! 


This is How We Measure Our Portions

There’s a better way and you already have access to it! Your hands. I know you think that this might be a little silly, but hear us out. It turns out that using your hands for measuring portion sizes is actually really accurate. The cool part is that they are scaled to your size. Big people have bigger hands, thus bigger portions. Small people have smaller hands, thus smaller portions. 

Step 1
Proteins are measured by palm of hand.
Step 2
Vegetables are measured by your fist.
Step 3
Carbohydrates are measured by how much could fit in a cupped hand.
Step 4
Fats are measured by the size of your thumb.

Is This The End All Be All? 

Of course not, but neither is counting every single gram of carbohydrates you eat. There’s going to be some margin of error. When it comes to losing weight, it’s important to set yourself up for success, and this means choosing systems and methods that are easy. Using your hands can be just that!

* Side note: I want to clarify that I don’t feel diets are wrong. I think diets have their place. They can be a great way to kick start weight loss by helping people become more motivated to begin the process. It’s also necessity for fitness & weight based competitors who need their weight to be specific. However, I think that we can all agree that for the regular fitness enthusiast who is not a professional bodybuilder, many of these diets just don’t work long term.

Incorporating the concepts of using your hand WHILE on a short term diet and AFTER you’ve finished the diet can help build HEALTHY HABITS that will stay with you in the long run!

A Tip From Coach Heidi

I’ve found that if the idea is easy enough to incorporate, you’re more likely to stick with it! Counting macros & calories can just add more confusion of trying to eat healthy. You might see success in the beginning but it’s so hard to maintain. 

Today’s Assignments 

  1. Practice measuring portions using our methods.

What’s Next? 

  • Watch your email or Facebook messenger for the link to your next lessons.
  • Don’t want to wait until tomorrow for your next lesson?