Do you find that calorie counting, measuring macros and weighing your meals can become tedious and time consuming? If this is you, here’s a simple and bulletproof way to stay on top of your calorie intake as well as portion control.  All you need is your hand.

Your hand is proportionate to your body, and it’s always with you, making it the perfect tool for measuring food and nutrients. So let’s break it down into food groups.

Source: Precision Nutrition

Source: Precision Nutrition

What protein do I want?

Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, eggs, fish, lentils, beans, chick peas and lean cuts of red meat.

What are some good vegetables?

All leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, buk choy. Root vegetables such as carrots, beetroot and radish. The vegetable list is the biggest so try as many as you can and have as many different colours as possible; eggplant, squash, capsicum.

What is a carbohydrate?

Potato and grain based foods such as bread, cereal, rice and pasta.

What are good sources of fat?

Nuts, olive oil, avocado. We want to minimize animal based fats such as milk and cheese.


Active men do best with 6-8 servings of each food group per day. This is the equivalent of having around 2,300 – 3,000 kcal.

Active women do best with 4-6 servings of each food group per day. This is the equivalent of having around 1,500 – 2,100 kcal.


Of course this is a guide only and should be adjusted for your dietary and exercise requirements. However, the reason I love this analogy is because it highlights what a balanced meal looks like.

Using you hand as a guide will also quickly identify what you are having too much and/or not enough of. For example, a typical day for some might be cereal for breakfast, a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch, and spaghetti Bolognese for dinner. If we look at this day as a whole we can see there is an excess of carbohydrates, and no-where near enough vegetables or protein.

So if counting calories isn’t your thing, give this hand analogy a go and stay on top of your nutrition.