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Measurements and equivalents

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First let me say I am on D25 and loving it! So many NSVs! Goodbye hip pain, resolved most stomach trouble (after quitting nuts), and my clothes and rings are all loser!

Here is my concern: whenever i read anything on this forum or in the book about measurements they use body parts as a representation for volume. 

I get it. A man's hand is bigger than me, so he needs more protein or fat

But I really struggle to make that part of the program make any sense to me for the sake of cooking and eating. What do I mean? Here are some concerns I have:


Raw meats are purchased in ounces and recipes are by ounce too when it comes to meat (unless it's a whole chicken).

Chicken thighs aren't shaped like a hand

After cooking, meat is a smaller volume and has lost water so is lighter

I am not going to touch raw meat and compare to my palm size. 

I have no concept for what my palm thickness is versus a piece of meat. Again, not going to compare.

Oils are measured by volume. I have no idea how many tablespoons my thumb is equal to. The tip of the thumb is usually equated to 1T. So is the size of your thumb 2 or 3 T? No idea.

Besides filling the thumb of a  rubber glove with water and measuring in a measuring  a cup, I have no displacement based tools with which to compare these measurement methods

Avocados are probably best measured in weight in ounces (or by water the avocado meat displaces in a measuring cup. Again no way to compare with a thumb.

A closed fist is usually equated to one cup measure. I can get it.


When the author and the moderators use these measurements that are inaccessible to my mind, it feels like I am being belittled and I don't like that.

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  • Moderators

Hey there!

First, I"m sorry you feel belittled, I can say with 100% certainty that it is not the intention of the mods or the creators of the program to belittle you.  Second, you're not the only person with this concern, so you're not alone.

The palm and thumb are guidelines so you don't need to touch raw chicken and match it up to your palm.  Plus, we talk about serving sizes of cooked food that you're going to actually eat :)

With that said, you want your meals to last you 4-5 hours... so we play around with portion sizes and composition until that happens.

Lets say you have two chicken thighs (cooked), two heaping handfuls of olives and some roasted brussels sprouts and green beans... make note of how you feel in 2 hours, 4 hours, 5 hours... if you're starving before 4 or 5 rolls around, then you would need to increase your intake.  The reason I'm saying this is because it's personal to each person and you definitely don't have to fill a glove with water and then measure that out for oil... use a generous glug of cooking oil and then add some avocado, olives, dressing to your meal.... 

Does that make better sense?  There isn't really a 'palm = X' because everyone's palms are different, but if you use it as a guide instead of a specific measurement, that might help.  IF none of this helps, please respond back and we can keep chatting and try and figure out what works best for you.  You're smart and capable and awesome for doing this and definitely no one thinks less of you or endeavors to belittle you because of the way your mind works :)  Promise!

One other thing, not all fats are measured by thumb... avocado are 1/2 to a whole as a serving, olives are open heaping handfuls, nuts are closed fistful (limited... don't eat every day), coconut milk is a 1/4 to 1/2 can etc...

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  • Administrators

Avocado serving is half-to-whole avocado. No need to really measure that guy. Olives and coconut products are 1-2 heaping handfuls. Coconut milk is 1/4 - 1/2 can. Oils and oil based sauces/dressings are what the thumb refers to. You just sort of.....blur your eyes and see if your thumb and your serving are around the same size.

Same with protein. Just sort of eyeball it. It's really just a starting point anyway, you'll get to know how much food and what composition YOU need to go 4-5 hours and fuel you throughout whatever activities you have in your day.

The fact that you are on Day 25, don't seem to be experiencing anything negative like pervasive hunger or lethargy means that you are probably doing just fine, however it is you are managing to "measure".


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