The Five Fingers of Nutritional Balance

To help you achieve a balanced eating plan, “the five fingers of nutritional balance” was developed which serves as a guideline for optimal nourishment for the rest of your life. *Lean and Free 2000 by Dana Thornock

Here in Boot Camp we have taken it a step further to the Boot Camp Strong “High Five”—

Always look at your hand: water creates the base of your diet or palm of the hand. The thumb is for fruit, second finger for vegetable, third finger for grain – these are the complex, good carbohydrates. From there the next or third finger is for protein as a side dish and not the main focus of the meal and fat is represented by your little or fourth finger, you need some but not a lot.

When you prepare and/or eat your meal just think of the “High Five” , and you have a balanced diet…Carbs – 60-70%, Protein 20-30% and Fat 10- 30%. Anywhere you go you can figure it simply and then if you have room add your deserts, etc. Always envision your “High Five” first.

Eating healthy and lean is as simple as 1-2-3-4-5. *Boot Camp Strong * “Lean and Free 2000 by Dana Thornock”

To Make Fitness Your Reality Make These “Five Fingers” a Way of Life Every Day! Use your “High Five”

Water – The First step of a Healthy Body – Palm of the Hand What does it do for you????

  • Clear and bright skin tone
  • Helps to create strong and toned muscle. Your muscle is made up of water and helps to reduce body fat
  • Fills you up and not out gives you energy gives you strength has no calories
  • cleanses your body

Carbohydrate – The Thumb and First Two Fingers of a Healthy Body– vegetables, fruit, grain—all include fiber, which is the key to a clean healthy body from the inside out.

What does it do for you???

  • Provides the majority of the energy for the body to move
  • Provides perfect and preferred form of energy
  • Provide cellular fluid balance
  • Constantly need to be replaced
  • They efficiently burn and use fat and protein
  • Provides many, many vitamins, minerals, anti- oxidants
  • Provides nutrition that fat and protein cannot
  • Satiety by keeping glycogen stores full and adding bulk to the diet
  • Maintains proper blood sugar levels if there is consistent intake of low-glycemic carbohydrates
  • Spares protein so it can be used to build muscle and not provide energy
  • Provides bulk with the fiber. Fills you up not out
  • Cleans the colon
  • 1 gram of carbohydrate yields 4 calories
  • The body needs at least 25 grams of fiber a day
  • Carbohydrate intake should be between 50-70% of total caloric intake
  • Carbohydrate recommendations should be estimated after protein and fat requirements are met
  • Eat less than 25 grams of simple sugar (that used in labels and added sugar to your food) 5 grams equals one teaspoon

Protein – The Third Finger of a Healthy Body What does it do for you????

  • Repairs and builds muscle
  • Can be used as energy if not enough carbs are present in the diet
  • Provides satiety
  • One gram of protein yields 4 calories
  • Should be 10-30% of total caloric intake
  • Recommended protein is 50-60 grams/day for women, and 65-70 grams for men or 15-30% of total caloric intake

Fat – The Fourth Finger of a Healthy Body   What Does It Do For You?

  • Provides protection to organs
  • Helps to distribute important vitamins, etc. throughout the body
  • One gram of fat yields 9 calories
  • Provides energy
  • Provides structure and membrane function
  • Precursor to hormones
  • Regulation of uptake and excretion of nutrients in the cells
  • Important for structure and membrane function
  • Fat intake should range from 10-30% of the diet
  • A high polyunsaturated-saturated fat ratio is desirable
  • More than 30% intake of fat leads to overeating (lack of food volume) and often slows metabolism


  • 1500 grams of salt recommended per day
  • Keep a journal until you know what you are eating every day
  • Remember the Boot Camp “High Five”
  • Count your food on your fingers every meal and make it a habit.
  • Eat to fill your stomach 1⁄2 full of food, 1⁄4 full of water, and 1⁄4 full of energy
  • Always drink a glass of water before your meal and after
  • Eat no more that 25 grams of added sugar per day
  • read your labels
  • Eat more than 25 grams of Fiber for women and 30 grams of Fiber for men per day
  • Be aware of your triggers to overeat and plan for them

 Contact Pam, NASM, FNS