So I asked around my clients as to any topic they would like me to cover in today’s e mail and the subject of portion control cropped up. It’s a good one, so here goes…….
The brilliant thing about eating natural ,whole foods is that it takes away all the calories counting and strict meal plans. If you are eating clean foods then there is no need to limit yourself as you will naturally manage your eating through the feeling of fullness that comes from nutrient dense food.
I recommend 3 meals a day, but if you have a heavy physical work schedule or training you may wish to add in an extra meal. You should not need to snack, if your meals are well balanced, they should be satisfying and high in nutrients. A meal should last 4 – 6 hours, so snacking should be unnecessary. This is also a bonus for your hormones as it gives your body a good break between meals allowing glucagon time to do its job and mobilise energy. It also gets us away from that sugar roller coaster that has us reaching for the biccy tin at 3pm.
You build your plate around your protein source, so meat, seafood, or eggs. Protein is essential at every meal to help stabilise blood levels and to keep you from overeating at your other meals. Protein fills you up! Your portion size of protein should be “palm-size”. So, look at the palm of your hand and use that as a guide. The thickest part of your protein source should be the same size as the palm of your hand. Go by your size and activity level. On a work-out day you will benefit from upping your protein levels.
Fill the rest of your plate with vegetables. Simple as that. I like to include at least two vegetables with each meal for variety. Some vegetables are nutrient-dense and some are carbohydrate-dense. Vegetables like butternut squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, beets, acorn squash, and parsnips are carbohydrate-dense…these are great to have on days you visit the gym. I love melting a good quality coconut oil in a roasting tin and then adding a mixture of parsnips, sweet potatoes etc and covering them in herbs or spices, one of my favourites is paprika – so tasty.
Fruit is great for a sweet hit but I limit my intake to one piece a day not including the berries I have in my breakfast shake, porridge or pancakes. Banana is my usual choice. Too much fruit and you will be consuming a lot of fructose.
And don’t forget to include fats on a daily basis, these are crucial for your body and good fats will NOT make you fat I promise! By good fats I mean butter, nuts/seeds, coconut oil/milk and avocado.
And that’s pretty much it. If you eat like this all the time I’d bet my last dollar that you will lose weight, be full of energy and feel pretty bloody brilliant. But even if you follow this 80% of the time you will be well on track to a healthy diet.