How To Correctly Measure Carbs And Protein Portions

Trifocus Fitness Academy - carbs
Nutrition Blog

Every fitness or weight-loss article worth its salt will tell you that diet and what you eat is about the single most important ingredient in if you want to lose weight or body recomposition. However, this is easier said than done. Most people have an idea about what ‘eating properly’ means but few actually understand how much they should eat or, alternatively, what the actual nutrient value of each meal is.

Finding the proper protein and carb balance can help you to maximise your energy levels, maintain a healthy body weight as well as and increase your satiety after meals. Carbs are generally the main fuel source for humans. However, eating too many carbs can lead to unwanted weight gain.

The RDA For Carbs And Protein

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates is 130 grams daily for adults. Protein RDAs are 46 grams daily for women and 56 grams daily for men. Regardless of the protein and carb balance, which is appropriate for your individual needs, you should be aiming to consume at least the RDA for protein and carbs each day.

Why It’s Important To Count Carbs

Carbohydrates are the nutrients that breaks down to sugar in our bodies as we digest it. Our bodies use carbohydrates for energy. In order to utilise that energy, however, insulin must be available to carry sugar (glucose) into cells.

As people with diabetes have impaired insulin production and/or utilisation, sugar can build up in their blood which causes hyperglycaemia. This is if they take in too much carbohydrate at once. This is why it is very important – as a diabetic – to count the grams of carbohydrates that are present in the foods that you eat. It will give you the opportunity to control your diabetes better by eating the correct amount of carbohydrates for the amount of insulin which your doctor prescribes.

Trifocus Fitness Academy - carbs

There are two steps that you need to follow when reading food labels so that you can count carbohydrates properly:

  1. Look at the serving size for the particular food. This can be found at the top of the label.
  2. Look at the total carbohydrate amount. This figure can be found towards the middle of the label.

These two parts of the food label tell you all that you need to know. The amount of total carbohydrates recorded is for the particular serving size. Also, keep the next information in mind when reading food labels:

  • “Sugars” reflect both added sugars as well as those which naturally occur in foods. It is vital to look at the total amount of carbohydrates as opposed to the source.
  • If sugar alcohols appear on the food label, divide that number by two and then subtract it from the total carbohydrate. (Sugar alcohols only offer half the calories as opposed to sugar.)
  • If dietary fibre is listed on the food label, you can subtract the full amount of fibre from the total carbohydrate. (Fibre is not digested as sugar and, therefore, will not have an effect on our blood sugar.)

How To Measure Protein Portion Sizes

The standard serving size for any variety of meat or fish is 85 grams. Rather than weighing this out, the best visual indicators of this amount is roughly the size of the palm of your hand or the size of a standard deck of playing cards.

A half a cup of cooked beans, legumes, and grains is the standard serving size. To put that in perspective, a can of beans contains about 1 3/4 cup, which is over triple this serving size. Besides simply scooping 1/2 cup into a bowl, 1/2 cup is roughly the size of the front of your clenched fist.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

Would you like to discover more about nutrition and possibly even become a nutritionist yourself? If you do then you should really have a look at our Specialised Nutrition Course. For more information, please follow this link.

Trifocus Fitness Academy - nutrition