portion sizeMuch of America struggles with finding and eating the correct portion size that is tailored to his or her body. These variances have much to do with an individual’s unique body composition and metabolism, but one personal trainer has found a simple method that has shown to work with her clients. To measure the perfect portion size, fitness professional Belinda Norton-Smith says to clasp both hands together and that is the amount that should be eaten per meal, six times a day. Regardless of age or size, the size of your two clasped hands will measure the amount you should be eating at each meal.

The amount of food prescribed by Norton-Smith will leave you feeling fuller and more energized longer. Restrictive diets generally won’t deliver long-term results, while eating the correct amounts regularly can result in an easier transition to a healthy lifestyle change. Over-eating can cause sluggishness and fatigue, so avoid eating until you are full as this is relative based on person-to-person and can cause weight gain. Additionally, undereating can lead to a whole host of health issues that become more pronounced as time goes on.

Norton-Smith continues to say that starting each day off with 30 minutes of cardio before breakfast can kick start your metabolism by accelerating your heart rate. Forty-minute circuit training three times per week with light weights at 10-15 reps each also helps considerably for strength training and maintaining muscle tone. However, the biggest key to dropping pounds and toning up is to hydrate and avoid processed foods. After 10 days of ridding your body of processed foods and flushing it with water, you will begin to crave clean foods.

So, if you are really serious about making healthy lifestyle changes, lose the fad diets and try eating six clean meals a day that are the size of your clasped hands. Remember that exercise is also an important factor in health, so make sure to maintain an exercise routine at least three times per week to truly see the results you desire.