When it comes to eating habits, some people like to snack like birdies in little bits throughout the day. Meanwhile, others don't get hungry until the afternoon and like to have a hearty meal for lunch. The list of different guidelines about when and how much to eat is practically endless, so when it comes to figuring out how to portion control and satisfy your body with the right amount of food that works for you, it can feel downright impossible.
For me, I know I've struggled with getting too busy throughout my day and eating too lightly, only to find myself feeling absolutely ravenous in the evening, when I devour a massive meal that leaves me feeling uncomfortably full -- like, moaning on the couch, having a hard time sleeping kind of full.
But luckily, there are helpful tips for these things. For example, a really good trick to help you figure out how much food you should be eating per meal can quite literally be found right in the palms of your hands. Yes, I'm being serious.
Take your hands and loosely clasp them together. The size of your hands in this position is your starting point to see the right sized portion for you and your body.
The key here, too, is to eat this amount of food about six times throughout the day.
And yes, that size of clasping your hands together really can apply to everything you eat in a given day, from your granola bar in the morning to your bowl of spaghetti in the evening.
Pretty neat, right?
Recognizing a reasonable portion size for your body can help you feel less sluggish, since larger meals use more energy to digest.
Plus, more frequent eating sustains blood sugar levels and prevents major dips. Not only will you feel a consistent boost in your energy by eating the right portions, but you'll also feel fuller for a longer period of time.
So, this is basically giving me an excuse to snack constantly throughout the day? I'll take it.
Of course, this whole clasping-your-hands-together portion control trick isn't exactly a new thing. Simin Levinson, a lecturer at Arizona State University's Nutrition and Health Promotion, told USA TODAY that a piece of meat should be about the size of your fist, a serving of vegetables or salad could fit in the palms of both hands, and a serving of fruit in one.
Levinson also pointed out that the general size of portions in restaurants is, well, big, to say the least, and could be more food than someone actually needs in a single sitting. So be conscious of the amount of food it takes you to feel satisfied, too, and how you feel after you eat. Like, are you tired? Still hungry? How does your stomach feel?
Listen to your body, my friends. It knows what's best for you.