If you’re not careful, the entire pint of ice cream or bag of chips can become one serving. Nutritional labels are notoriously difficult to read and seldom accurate for how we consume foods. (Is anyone really drinking only 8 ounces of their beverage?) Like the late-night infomercials boast, there has to be a better way.
It turns out each of us comes equipped with measuring cups and spoons from birth: our hand. A clenched fist is roughly equivalent to the size of a cup, and just the front equals roughly half a cup. Use your palm as a reference for butchering meat to 3-ounce portions — the recommended serving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines. A deck of cards or a cassette tape (if you somehow still have one) can also give a rough measurement.
Other shorthand measurements include: the tip of your thumb as half a serving of peanut butter, two cupped hands as 1 ounce, and the tip of your finger as an appropriate amount of butter to spread on toast.
While the estimations can’t ensure everyone will meet their specific dietary requirements, they offer a workable replacement to standard units. Plus, good news if you happen to have large hands: A clenched fist is equal to a double serving of ice cream.