Nutrition

Three Different Ways to Measure Your Food

May 19, 2022

Whether you want to lose a few pounds, gain muscle, increase energy, or maintain a healthy weight, eating proper portions will be vital in reaching your goals. It’s just as important as eating the right foods.

There are three different methods to measure your food. Depending on your lifestyle you can choose what works for you and what you feel the most comfortable with.

Method 1 is a hand-size portion guide. 

Although your kitchen scale may be in the comfort of your own home, it's not practical to carry it around with you all day. 

Our hands come with us to work, lunches, restaurants, social gatherings and more! This method gives you an easy way to judge a reasonable serving right in the palm of your hand!

  • Your protein sources should be about the size of your palm.
  • Carbohydrates should fit inside a cupped hand.
  • Vegetables should be approximately the size of your fist.
  • And healthy fats about the size of your thumb.

Although this approach is a little less precise, it will work well in times when you’re eating out and once you’ve reached your healthy-weight goal and have transitioned into intuitive eating. 


Method 2 utilizes measuring cups and spoons.

This approach works well because it keeps portion sizes consistent, and spoons and measuring cups will always be readily available. 

*It’s crucial when using measuring cups and spoons to keep the ingredients flush with the top of the measuring cup or measuring line. This ensures that we are not over portioning and eating extra calories. 

And Method 3 is a Kitchen scale.

Using a kitchen scale can be a little more tedious and time-consuming than the others, and therefore some people may find it impractical.

However, this method is the most accurate way to measure your food. You’ll know exactly how many calories and macronutrients you are consuming. 

Using a scale can be particularly helpful when measuring calorie-dense foods such as nut butter, coconut oil, hummus, and guacamole.

For Example, 15 Grams of peanut butter weighed, which is technically a tablespoon and 90 calories. 

Your tablespoon is heaping and can weigh 30-40 grams or more, significantly higher in calories than what you thought you were consuming.

One Pro-Tip is Putting the entire jar of peanut butter on the scale. Hit the Tare feature to zero out the weight, and then remove the peanut butter from the jar until it states -15 grams.

You may be asking “do I need to measure food cooked or uncooked?”

The majority of the time, cooking is the preferred method – however, in some cases measuring uncooked is easier.

For example: 

  • Oats and certain vegetables that shrink significantly during preparation are best measured uncooked.  
  • Proteins such as chicken or beef and grain such as rice and pasta should be measured once cooked.

Regardless of your health and fitness goals, eating proper portions will be a vital component in reaching your goals. 

We’ve provided three methods for you to utilize depending on what works best for you. 

Book a call with our Wellness Coordinator to learn more