top of page

Lesson #5

Protein Portion Sizes

Welcome to your fifth Simple Strategies for Nutrition Beginners lesson:


Hand Measurements – One Palm

In Monday’s lesson, you learned about the hand measurement system for carbohydrates.  You also learned how many cupped palms of carbohydrates to have in each meal.  

Simple Strategy:
Protein Portion Sizes

Did you know that protein is your secret weapon? When you have protein in a meal, it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. This is a big reason why you stay full longer.

Protein also slows down how quickly your body absorbs carbohydrates, which can help keep your blood sugars more level. Level blood sugars equal more stable energy and fewer cravings.

When building a meal, start with your 
protein. Lean sources of protein are the preferred choice of protein because they can give you higher amounts of protein with fewer calories as compared to fattier sources of protein.


   Some Lean Sources of Protein

chicken, seafood, eggs, 
white meat poultry, 
cottage cheese, and yogurt


                                                             Some Fattier Sources of Protein





                                                                                      Red meats and pork

                    Some Vegetarian Sources of Protein



                              beans, lentils,

                                  and tofu

We understand that you might not eat lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, and turkey all the time. It’s OK to eat a variety of protein such as steak or pork. But try to have the majority of your meals include a source of lean protein.


We like the hand measurement system.  There’s no calorie counting involved.  Simply use your hand as a guide for your serving sizes.  


Protein serving sizes are measured with the size of 1 palm.

This is approximately 3-4 ounces or

20-30 grams of protein.



General guidelines for a protein on your plate:


Ladies = at least 1 palm

(approximately 20-30 grams of protein)


Gentlemen = at least 2 palms

(approximately 40-60 grams of protein)


Include 1 or 2 palm sized protein portions for each meal.

Fattier Cuts of Meat.jpg
bottom of page