facebook twitter blog LIVFIT STORE
| Register

Portions of Health

The stomach is the first place food lands after you have swallowed it. Now make a fist and look at it. This is the size of your stomach without any food in it. Not big right? So think about what happens when you pile up your plate in the evening and inhale that mountain of food. You stretch your tummy.

Food has to sit in your tummy for 30 minutes to allow the stomach acid and other digestive juices to do their good work of breaking down food. Remember those occasions where you have wanted to burst for about thirty minutes after over-eating? Hopefully this will be a distant memory for you – perhaps only reserved for Christmas day or those occasions when someone else foots the bill to an amazing restaurant! Bless them. Those occasions are justified and all part of life’s rich tapestry – as long as they happen occasionally.

If you stretch your stomach regularly, it comes to expect it and stays that way. This is why some people feel as if they are being starved and tortured by a diet that all of a sudden severely restricts food intake and portion sizes. It takes a few days of ‘not stretching’ for the nerve endings around the stomach to shrink back.

This nerve reaction is one of the body’s helpful mechanisms to help us stop over-eating. Trouble is, if you have been guilty of overeating for a while, your stomach’s nerves will not fire fast enough. You may already have overeaten by the time your brain gets the signal to stop. When you eat protein, after as little as five minutes of chewing, messages are already being sent from the mouth to the saiety centre of the brain to let it know you are eating. Interestingly, the signals are different when you eat carbohydrates. The brain relies on the stomach stretch method to know its being fed.

This is another good reason that the LivFit principles support protein with every meal and limit starchy carbohydrates after 3pm.

A rough guide to the amount of food we need to eat with each meal is:

Main meals: approximately ONE PALM OF PROTEIN and A FIST OF CARBS. Look at the palm of your hand. Unless you have monstrous hands, chances are your palm will be about the equivalent of a 120gm cut of steak, chicken etc. Such a size cut will give you approximately 20-25g protein.


Snacks: should be ONE FIST. A snack should be a fist size portion of protein and carbohydrate foods (only fibrous vegetable carbs if after 3pm). A key body fat management technique is simply eating less total food by reducing portion sizes.

Remember LivFit principles mean eating 5-6 small meals a day – its all about smaller, nutrient rich regular fuel.Now look at your fist and think about grabbing a fist full of carbs. Remember....that should only include starchy carbs before 3pm. Other carbs mean fibrous fruit/vege carbs.

You can add as many greens (green vegetables and/or salad) to that as you like. Although they have a high nutrient value, they are mostly water.

Your Homework Exercise

Your mission this week (should you accept it), is to try all of these portion control measures:

  • Reduce your evening meal by a quarter (if you think you are overeating by the palm and fist method discussed here.
  • Use a smaller plate (an old trick but a good trick).
  • Chew slowly and thoroughly (20 times per mouthful) to support good digestion and give your brain and stomach time to communicate to one another.
  • Eat regularly to the LivFit principles of 5-6 meals per day. Make two/three of those snack sized. Eat roughly every three hours.
  • Don’t eat in front of TV or when driving, so you remember the food you eat.