What should my plate look like?
We have all been there, confused about figuring out portion sizes and how to eat a balanced diet to the point you want to scream. It is important to make sure you are getting the right portions and combinations of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in each meal to be able to eat a balanced diet. I have put together some helpful tips and a diagram to see what your plate should look like with every meal along with a portion guide reference. Use this as a general guideline but try not to stress on getting it exactly perfect. The main point is to make sure every meal you eat is nutritiously balanced as much as possible. Enjoy and savory your meals. Bon Appetit!
- Veggies are unlimited, especially non-starchy vegetables. Fill up the plate and have fun trying new veggies each week eating a variety of fresh vegetables each day.
- Eat more Whole Foods and less processed.
- Eat fruit as a dessert or a great addition for a pre or post-workout snack.
- Choose local or organic foods when possible.
- Choose lean high-quality proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, or plant based protein (tofu, tempeh, soy, beans, or seitan). Limit red meat and avoid processed meats such as bacon, lunch meats, and sausage.
- Choose complex carbohydrates (sweet potatoes, whole grains, quinoa, beans) over starchy or simple carbohydrates. Try to reduce sugary products, white flours goodies, processed treats, and fruit juices or sodas.
- Make sure fats are limited and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, etc. Watch your oil intake, fried foods, cream sauces, butter, and mayonnaise intake.
- Use a smaller plate if you tend to overeat or if your eyes get bigger than your stomach.
- Make sure you start every meal with a full glass of water to stay well hydrated and to help you distinguish if you are truly hungry. Staying hydrated is very important. Try to make sure you get in at least a minimum of 8 -8oz glasses a day but aim closer to 10-12 (8oz) glasses a day depending on your activity level.
An important note to remember, these tips are guidelines to help simplify and make it easy on keeping a balanced meal. It will make sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods and a good balance of macronutrients in which will help reduce any deficiencies.
Figuring out portions to eat with every meal based on the plate diagram can be confusing, so I have broken down portions for each macronutrient to make it easier for you. This will also help you keeping everything balanced along with meeting your protein, vegetable, carb, fat, and calorie intake without having to count a single calorie. Below is a helpful guide to go as a starting point for your portion size, assuming you’re active and eat about 4 meals per day.
For each meal, begin by eating:
- 2 palm of hand-sized of protein-dense foods
- 2 fists of hand-sized of vegetables
- 2 cupped handfuls-sized of carb-dense foods
- 2 thumbs width-sized of fat-dense foods.
For each meal, begin by eating:
- 1 palm hand-sized of protein-dense foods
- 1 fist of hand-sized of vegetables
- 1 cupped handful-sized of carb-dense foods
- 1 thumb width-sized of fat-dense foods.
The portion guideline doesn’t necessarily provide perfect total daily intakes and all individuals are different depending on how active an individual may be. Make sure to listen to your body and go with your hunger cues.
I don’t you about you, but I am now hungry thinking about food and my plate. Ha. Go have fun filling up your plate with healthy creations and get inspired.
If you have any questions, concerns, or if this is overwhelming-please do not hesitate to call or email me. I am always here to help out in any way possible.
You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional. None of my services shall be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. I cannot and do not provide medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before altering your diet or starting any fitness program