Social eating can be a challenge for food tracking. It’s tempting skip tracking when you eat out. If you don’t eat away from home often, that might be a good call – a nice psychological break.
But if you eat away from home frequently and don’t have a strategy for tracking your food, it’s going to be hard to stick with your plan.
Bringing a food scale to a dinner party – probably not a good call.
You need a strategy for estimating your portion sizes without using a digital scale.
Start by taking a pic! Pictures of your food aren’t just for social media. Use the pictures and the hand estimation tips below to log your food when you get home.
Even though our hand sizes vary, these estimations will still work better than guessing or not tracking at all. Our hand sizes are relative to our stature. If your hand is smaller than most, you’ll be getting a little less than the suggested estimation. That’s ok.
My husband’s hands are bigger than mine – but so is his body and he needs more calories in general. If his estimations are a little larger, it’s still ok for him to use because his portion sizes are also bigger.
I would not use his hand to estimate my portions!
I also wouldn’t use these estimations all the time. This isn’t meant to be used instead of a digital scale when you’re at home. But it will help for those occasional meals when you’re eating out and want to track.
BONUS TIP 1: You could test it at home. Measure 3 ounces of chicken and put it in the palm of your hand. That will give you a visual reference.
(Tracking Nerd Level: Expert)
BONUS TIP 2: You could take photos of food measured at home as compared to parts of your hand to keep on your phone to use as reference for when you eat out.
(Tracking Nerd Level: Ninja)
Hope you found these hand estimation tips useful! I’d love to read your comments or answer questions.
you’ll know exactly how much food you need to eat to reach your goals, you’ll have customized macros, a tracker you can continue to use, a plan for staying on track when eating out, and you’ll have a strategy for when and how to adjust your macros over time.
Come hang out with us in one (or both) of our Facebook communities to get inspired, learn, and be supported by like-minded busy adults!
Lifting My Spirits League of Lifters
We love to lift! Most members are women in our 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Science-based info, support, and encouragement. All levels welcome from beginners to competitors in all lifting sports.
Lifting My Spirits Healthy Eating Community
We are into flexiblility and sustainability! We talk a lot about science and eating for results. No food shaming here!
Coach Tammy became an athlete in her 50’s and is passionate about helping other busy adults transform their health. Each individual has a unique combination of strengths and challenges that have to be used to shape a program that will work. Science-based principles, flexibility, accountability, and support make all the difference. If you want to learn more about her online coaching programs, click here.