Nutritionists have launched a new guide to address large portion sizes in a battle against obesity.
The guide uses hands, fingers and thumbs as images to show how many people have to eat, removing the inconvenience of using scales.
While health officials continue to warn of rising obesity rates, people do not know how many calories they actually consume.
Most do not think about our portion sizes, the experts who made the guide said they could alleviate the pressure on the NHS.
The guide, made by the British Nutrition Foundation, shows how many starchy carbohydrates, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and oils within the government have recommended calories for men (2,500) and women (2,000).
The guide of the British Nutrition Foundation suggests using the finger and the thumb to measure a forest the size of a £ 1 coin for spaghetti
The guide also suggests that a baked potato should be about the size of your fist
By using our hands to measure food, we would eat less, but also "eat differently", according to the guide & # 39; Find your balance & # 39 ;.
The suggested portion of grilled chicken breast or a cooked salmon fillet or a cooked steak is about half of your hand & # 39 ;.
HOW CAN YOU USE YOUR HANDS TO MEASURE FOOD?
The British Nutrition Foundation suggests practical measures using your hands and spoons to get an idea of the right portion sizes.
2 handfuls of dried pasta or rice (75g)
A bunch of spaghetti the size of a £ 1 coin, measured with your finger and thumb (75 g)
the amount of cooked pasta or rice that would fit in two hands collapsed together (180g)
A baked potato about the size of your fist (220g)
About 3 handfuls of breakfast cereal (40g)
A piece of grilled chicken breast about half of your hand (120g)
A piece of cheddar cheese the size of two thumbs together (30g)
About 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (20 g)
About 3 teaspoons soft cheese (30 g)
Cheese should not be more than & # 39; about the size of two thumbs together & # 39; and uncooked pasta & # 39; two handfuls & # 39 ;.
The suggestions are in accordance with the Eatwell Guide from the government, which says that our diet should consist of a third fruit and vegetables, a third starchy carbohydrate and the rest divided between dairy and protein.
This would mean that we could eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables every day, three or four starchy carbohydrates such as bread, rice or pasta (which should be wholegrain), and two to three portions each of proteins and dairy.
The BNF looked at the data from the national food and nutrition survey and discovered many variations in the size of portions.
Most of us throw a rough estimate with pasta – but this could distribute almost twice the calories that are needed.
They found that the most consumed size was 230 g (324 calories), and 10 percent of the people consumed 350 g (500 calories) before sauces and other foods were added.
The guide proposes to use the finger and the thumb to measure a forest the size of a £ 1 coin for spaghetti.
If you have bigger hands, you usually get bigger parts, the guide said. If you & # 39; tall or very active & # 39; you may need to add something more. If you are trying to lose weight, you would remove a bit.
Cheese should not be more than & # 39; about the size of two thumbs together & # 39 ;, says the guide
Half the size of a hand is about the right amount of chicken, says the guide. A portion of nuts and seeds must be a handful
Many of the listed foods are already portioned, such as a can of tuna or a bagel, or suggest to use the guidelines for packages.
Oils and liniments must also be added in small amounts of & # 39; are used. The use of spoon measurements reveals how many calories contain foods such as oils.
Olive oil or vegetable oil, which can easily be thrown over food during cooking, is for example 99 calories per tablespoon.
Drinks are also included, many of which are unaware that they contribute to the daily calories.
They can be part of different food groups, for example juices from fruits and vegetables, milk in dairy products and alternatives.
A small glass (150ml) of fruit juice would contribute to your five a day and be in a sensible portion.
For each food group it also gives smaller portions for snacks and light meals.
For example, in the starchy carbohydrate group, a cooked baked potato, about 213 calories and the size of your first one, would be for a main meal. While ordinary popcorn, 94 calories and three handfuls, would be a suitable snack.
Other snacks include a handful (up to 137 calories) unsalted nuts and seeds and two tablespoons of low-fat hummus (103 calories).
An example of a daily diet is prepared by the BNF, with a lunch consisting of a potato in the shell with tuna mayonnaise, a bowl of fruit salad and two mandarins.
The BNF suggestions are in line with the Eatwell Guide from the government, which says that our diet should consist of a third fruit and vegetables, a third starchy carbohydrate and the rest divided between dairy and protein. A day of food is set up as an example
Official figures have suggested that Britons underestimate their calorie intake by 50 percent.
Men have 1000 extra calories per day each day than they take care of, while women consume about 800 more than they think.
Experts from the Bureau of National Statistics have suggested that people do not like to & # 39; for the gaiters & # 39; be mistaken and ultimately lie to themselves about how much they actually eat.
This approach can help to reduce obesity, which affects approximately 25% of adults and about 20% of children aged 10 to 11 years.
The NHS has come under more pressure over time – in one year there was an 18 percent increase in hospital admissions, either for obesity treatment, or disorders caused or complicated by obesity, figures from the April 2018 show .
HOW DOES THE GOVERNMENT TRY TO STOP OBESITY?
Proposed plans to limit the number of calories in pizza & # 39; s, cakes and ready meals were unveiled last year as part of drastic governmental moves to try to get less obesity.
A tax on added sugar in beverages came into effect in April, requiring companies to hand over more money to beverages containing more than 5 g of sugar per 100 ml of liquid.
As a result, many soft drinks have changed their recipes to prevent them from paying taxes and raising prices. Sugary drinks are the largest source of sugar for children and teenagers.
The government is also considering making it mandatory for all restaurants and fast food outlets to display the number of calories in each meal on their menu.
Some eateries already do this, but there may be unexpected numbers of calories in popular dishes, and the government is discussing the plans before a decision has to be made in the spring.
In March of this year Public Health England warned the British to reduce the number of calories they ate, and advised them not to consume more than 1,600 a day.
The watchdog says adults should not eat more than 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner – this would provide some snacks, experts said.
Examples of 600 calorie meals are a tuna salad and a small cereal bar, a chicken salad sandwich and a packet of crisps, or half a pizza pepperoni with a quarter of garlic baguette and a banana.