Why count calories? Counting calories is time-consuming and, quite honestly, a wasted effort when there are other methods available. A much easier method is to track portion sizes. Whether you are male or female, you can actually track portion sizes using your hands. Fists, palms, and thumbs are all good ways to track your portions.
Let’s use an example of a female who is 5’2. Good portion size for her would be one fist size (half a cup or 20 G) of carbohydrates such as rice, a half a cup of vegetables, and a palm size of protein (fish, steak or chicken). This would equate to 3-4 oz of protein, or close to 15g.
Below we have created a chart that you can use as a guideline for using your hands as portion control. The chart is categorized based on size and gender and will tell you what fist size of carbs and vegetables you should have, as well as what sizes of proteins and fruits you should have.
This simple technique is has made it much easier for people to manage how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats they are consuming on any given day. In addition, if you know how many grams you are consuming, you can easily calculate your calorie intake as well. How? It’s simple!
• 1 gram of protein = 4 calories
• 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
• 1 gram of fat = 9 calories
So, let’s say you had 100 g of carbohydrates in a day. Each carbohydrate is 4 calories. So by way of math, you had 400 calories that day in carbohydrates (100×4). Now say you also had 70 grams of protein. Each gram of protein is worth 4 calories. This means you took in 280 calories that day in protein (70×4). Finally, you had 60g of fat. Each gram of fat is worth 9 calories. This means you had 540 calories that day in fats (60×9).
If you add them all together,
• 400 calories by way of carbohydrates
• 280 calories by way of proteins
• and 540 calories by way of fats
Then you would have consumed close to 1200 calories that day (or 1220 to be exact)
In most cases, 1220 calories are too low. The exception to this rule is if you are a female under 5 feet tall – but don’t worry, we will help you calculate how many calories and grams of carbs, proteins, and fats you should be having on a daily basis to reach your goals.
We have created a cheat sheet that you can take a look at below. It is based on height and gender and will help to outline what portions you need each day for your size.
PS… Counting your carb and fat intake by servings will help you lose weight most easily than counting calories due to the hormone reactions from these two macro ingredients.