Measure using your hand to avoid overeating

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It’s no coincidence the number of overweight and obese Australians has increased as portion sizes in this country have also grown. As studies have shown, the more food and drink a person has on their plate or in their cup, they more they’ll devour.

“Portion control is one of the most significant challenges for Australians,” Dr Alice Gibson, accredited practising dietitian and a research associate at the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute, says.

“Most Australians don’t know what a portion or serve looks like. There’s also the common belief that portion control doesn’t matter if you’re eating healthy food, which simply isn’t true.”

That’s where our hands come in, Gibson believes.

And researchers at Harvard Medical School in the US agree. They say our mitts are the perfect instruments for sizing up meals and snacks as you can simply gauge how much of a particular food to eat by measuring it against a particular part of your hand.

While Gibson admits it’s hardly an exact science due to everyone’s hands being different sizes, she says the idea has benefits beyond that.

“Regardless of accuracy, the fact someone is paying attention to how much food they’re putting on their plate is a really good thing.”

Let our guide, opposite, be your rule of thumb.

How many serves a day do you need?

Grains or cereals: 4-6 serves

Vegetables: 5 or more serves

Fruit: 2 serves

Protein: 2-3 serves

Dairy or alternatives: 2.5-4 serves

Unsaturated fats: 2-4 serves

How to measure a serve with your hand

Peanut butter: 1 thumb (1 tbs)

Butter: 1 fingertip (1 tsp)

Cheese: 2 fingers (40g)

Milk: 1 whole fist (1 cup)

Cooked porridge: 1 handful (1/2 a cup)

Cooked veg: 1 front fist (1/2 cup)

Cooked pasta: 1 fist (1/2 cup)

Cooked meat: 1 palm (80g-100g)

Almonds: 1 handful (20 nuts)

Raw salad: 2 handfuls (1 cup)

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