Saturday, May 12, 2018

Quickly And Accurately Measure Portion Sizes With Your Fingers

Many of us struggle with weight loss not because we don't try hard enough, but because of the insane number of tips we have to make sense of out there. Eat this, don't eat that. Eat this amount, and not that amount. We'd probably be able to lose weight if things were just easier.

Ph.D. student and dietician Alice Gibson had the same issue in her life and decided to figure out the best way to easily and accurately size her portions. Think about it. How do you accurately measure the size of a portion when you go out to eat? You can't just whip out your scale on the dinner table.

Alice Gibson discovered a genius way to size portions, and all you need are your fingers!

SHARE this article with your Facebook friends. They should know this easy-to-use diet tip.

You just cooked this amazing lasagna and you need to cut it up into portions. Where should you start?

Nutritionist Alice Gibson realized when she tried to control her own portions that she had no choice but to eyeball it, which isn't very accurate.

"I completed a food diary for a week and that's when I realized how hard it would be for people to accurately estimate the true amount of food on their plates, particularly for difficult-to-measure foods like lasagne. It struck me I had no accessible or reliable way of doing so," she said.

Take this GIANT serving from a restaurant, for example. I'm guessing this isn't an appropriate portion size.

You should be able to eat out and also control your portions. Staying healthy doesn't have to mean preparing your own meals all the time. Wait until you see what Alice Gibson discovered...

Using only your hands, you can accurately estimate portion sizes.

Yeah, there is a tiny bit of math. But hey, you have a smartphone with a calculator that does all of the work. For most foods, all you need to know are two formulas. The volume of a triangular prism (think pie and pizza), and the volume of a rectangular prism (anything box shaped- length x width x height). The example shown below would apply to a triangular prism.

Let's take a look at this simple portion sizing method that Alice and her colleagues developed.We can start with the simple steps required to estimate the volume of a piece of lasagna...

For example, this piece of lasagna is five fingers wide. If you could see the side, you would see that it is also roughly three fingers tall.

After measuring the number of fingers long it is, you can figure out the volume of this particular piece of lasagna. If the portion is far too large, split it into two!

Alice explains that she sees the method being translated into an even easier-to-use phone app.

That doesn't render the method useless, though. By taking one extra step to find out the average width of your fingers in centimeters, you can take a note for later to finish calculating your portion size.

Alice's research was recently published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, showing that the method is surprisingly accurate when compared to classic household measuring methods (cups and spoons).

The vast majority of portion size estimates were within 25% of the actual size. Not bad! Hopefully the estimates weren't less than the actual size every time!

Here's a video with Alice Gibson describing this cool method!

SHARE this article with your friends on Facebook. They will appreciate being able to go out to eat while also controlling their portions!


Author: verified_user