FOOD IS SUSTENANCE. Nothing more complicated than that.
But we live in interesting times. Food has, of late, been the subject of great angst, involving the obsessive and tortured counting of calories in a bizarre battle between nutrition, hunger, oral gratification and BMI (Body Mass Index).
It doesn’t need to be this way. Why not give the Handful Technique a go? This common sense method gives you the ability to measure food quantities using an incredibly handy tool right within your arm’s reach — your hand. In a stunning coincidence, your hands, regardless of your gender, are generally proportional to your body size.
Here’s How The Handful Technique Works
Following the regular concept of 3 meals a day, a meal comprises no more that 5 handfuls of food.
Picture in your mind, how much food would fit in your cupped hand — level not heaped. That’s your handful.
Breaking down each of those handfuls:
- 2 handfuls of grain
- 2 handfuls of fruit and vegetables
- 1 handful of protein
For meat, let your palm be your guide. No fingers, no thumb. Just the area of your palm and its thickness.
Your breakfast, for example, could be 2 handfuls of cereal, one handful of fruit, a small glass of juice (that’s a handful) and another handful could be the milk you pour on your cereal.
What About Bad Foods?
Here’s how to manage all those foods you’re meant to avoid — french fries, desserts, alcohol, etc.
If you feel you need a glass of wine with your evening meal, then reduce your grains by a handful for that meal. That still leaves you with one handful of grain and the wine counts toward your energy intake for that meal.
If you’re serious about what you’re putting in your body, you’ll do the right thing and keep alcohol substitutions to an absolute minimum. We’re here for healthy eating, remember?
Daily Nutrition Requirements
The Handful Technique should take care of your daily nutritional needs, beyond perhaps a daily multivitamin. Talk to your GP or nutritionist about supplements in relation to any special medical circumstances.
The 40/40/20 rule applies to the Handful Technique:
- 40% grain (rice, pasta, cereal, bread)
- 40% fruits/vegetables
- 20% protein (lean meat, dairy products, nuts)
This provides balanced healthy eating, with all the body’s nutritional needs accounted for. It’s also an ideal package for sustained energy.
Consider leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, etc, as ‘freebies”. Enjoy a handful with most meals for straightforward nutrition benefits and almost zero calories.
Fruit, in the form of dried fruit or fruit juice is ill-advised because, without the chewing resistance and fibre benefits, it’s too easy to consume excessive sugar. Whole fruit is rich in nutrients and antioxidants and, allergies aside, is a recommended ingredient in the Handful Technique.
A Note About Carbohydrates
Carbs come in 2 forms. The first category includes simple, fast-digesting types such as fruit and sugary foods. The other category includes complex, slow-digesting carbs, such as potatoes and oatmeal.
All carbohydrates provide sugar-based energy and cellular fuel.
Some people respond well to lower amounts of carbs while others thrive on high carbs.
For men, try 2 handfuls of carbs with each meal. For women, one handful.
A Note About Fats
Fat consumption should not fall below 15% of your total daily calorie intake. You could eat a handful of nuts or half an avocado over the course of a day. Or a cup of low-fat dairy and half-a-handful of almonds. Or 2-3 eggs. It’s no good eating solely nuts or cheese by the handful. It’s important to vary your fat sources.
Sample Handful Meals For Fat Loss/Muscle Gain
Super Shake Meal
- 1 Handful of Frozen Blueberries
- 1 Handful of Spinach
- 1 Handful of Vanilla Protein Powder (Low Fat/Carb Whey Isolate is recommended)
- 1 Tbsp. of Almond or Natural Peanut
- Butter (equivalent to 1 small handful of nuts)
- 1 Handful of Water as base
- 1 Handful of Eggs (2-3 eggs)
- 1 Handful of Spinach
- 1 Handful of Veggies (Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, etc.)
- 1 Tsp. of Coconut Oil (equal to 1 small handful of Raw Coconut)
Stir Fry Meal
- 1 Handful of Lean Steak (palm-size)
- 1 Handful of Colourful Veggies (Capsicum, Sweet Potato, Red Onions, Pumpkin, etc.)
- 1 Handful of Green Veggies (Broccoli, Green Beans, Brussel-sprouts, etc.)
- 1 Tsp. of Coconut Oil
Super-Food Salad Meal
- 1 Handful of Chicken Breast
- 2-3 Handfuls of Spinach
- 1 Small Handful of Whole Pecans (to be served chopped)
- 1 Small Handful of Blueberries
Taco Salad Meal
- 1 Handful of Ground Turkey (add spices or natural taco seasoning)
- 2-3 Handfuls of Spinach
- 1 Handful of Homemade Guacamole (1⁄2 Avocado + Diced Onions + Salt + Lemon)
- 1 Handful of Organic Black Beans
- 1 Handful of Organic or Homemade Salsa
Grilled Fish, Roasted Green Meal
- 1 Handful of Pacific Cod
- 2 Handfuls of Oven-Roasted Broccoli & Brussel Sprouts
- 2 Tsp. of Olive Oil (drizzled on veggies above)
- Minced Garlic & Seasoning
Fruit Bowl Dessert
- 1 Cup of Fresh Mixed Berries
- Small Handful of Chopped Mixed Cashews, Almonds & Pecans (chilled from freezer)
- 1-2 sachets of Organic Stevia (equivalent to 1-2 Tsp) for optional sweetening
Cinnamon Apple Slice Dessert
- 1 Crisp Apple sliced
- Cinnamon sprinkled on top
- Heated Coconut Oil spread on baking sheet (Oven bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes)