Cooking in the Time of COVID: Nutrition tips


Photo courtesy of Professor Leland Hammonds II

Wisdom Warner, Contributing Writer

Welcome back to another edition of Cooking in the Time of COVID. Today we will discuss some nutrition tips to help you gain or lose weight. It is very important during this pandemic to keep track of what we are eating and how much. Proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats and vegetables play a major role in having a balanced diet. This is important because these foods have calories needed by the body to get energy.

Calorie control is very important to staying healthy, but it is often complicated, tedious and inaccurate. I learned from Professor Leland Hammonds II at Northwest Vista College how to control calories using my hands as a starting point to healthiness. Your hand size is related to your body size, which makes it an excellent portable and personalized way to measure and track food intake. You can be flexible and adjust portions based on hunger, fullness and health-related goals. Let us get into the fun details of eating smarter.

For men, you should have two palm-sized portions of protein-dense foods and two fistfuls of vegetables with each meal. With most meals, you can also have two cupped handfuls of carbohydrate-dense foods and two entire thumb-sized portions of fat-dense food. Women should reduce each portion by half as a guide: one palm-sized portion of protein, one fistful of vegetables, one cupped handful of carbs and one entire thumb-sized portion of fat. If you are trying to gain weight, you should increase your plate portions, and if you want to lose weight, decrease these amounts.

Photo courtesy of Professor Leland Hammonds II

Keep in mind that fast, processed and fried foods are unhealthy options and can hinder health progression. Another common nutrition mistake is habitual snacking throughout the day and drinking high-calorie drinks such as sweetened tea, sodas and juice. Also, try eating your food slower and seated so you can fill up faster. Being on the go and chewing food quickly takes away the satisfaction of the meal, and you will be hungry much faster.