I get asked a lot about nutrition. And although I am not a registered dietitian or hold at certification for nutrition, I do feel I can offer some advice. I cannot legally offer specific meal plans, so I will leave that up to those who spend thousands of dollars on their degree to do so. What I can offer you is some general information, guidelines to follow to set yourself up for a healthy lifestyle. These are not individualized in any way, and are just to be used as an easy guide to serving sizes and food variety to get a feel for eating right!
Let’s start by saying…eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to learn how to perfectly cook kale, and search the entire grocery store for everything made with cauliflower. You just simply have to focus on….real food.
Food that doesn’t need an ingredient label. Foods that are BETTER than what you are currently eating, especially if you are one of the average Americans consuming McDonalds for breakfast and Chik-fil-a for lunch. You don’t have to take a huge leap at the beginning, start small. Start with removing soda. Then start to remove chips. And then remove cookies. Overtime, it gets easier.
If you have heard me preach in the past, I tell you that the main things you need to focus on in the beginning is just meal construction! Every meal should include a carb, a fat, a protein and a vegetable. These are the building blocks you need to set the foundation for a healthy diet. But after awhile, after we have gone to the store and got the goods for a few weeks, we start to HATE chicken breast, rice and broccoli, am I right?! We start thinking that it is easier to just get the same foods and stay on track. But the NUMBER ONE reason people fall off, is because they get bored. They get sick of eating the same foods and convince themselves that healthy sucks.
That is why we are here. Reading this easy guide to serving size and food variety. So we don’t have to fall off!
Yes, there is such thing as counting macros (carbs, fats, and protein) and people are very successful with it. But for me, it is time consuming and when does it end? When do you stop tracking macros? Or are you supposed to do it forever? When it comes to tracking food, I think it can be beneficial to SEE how much of each macro is in a certain size, and then in the future you can eyeball it. But most people using tracking as a way of just not thinking about it, and then we don’t learn to visualize and we learn to obsess over 1g of fat we went over on for the day. To me, it forms unhealthy relationships with food.
That is why I think measuring at the beginning, without a scale, is the best approach. Then you can SEE how much 1 serving of potatoes is on your plate, and you will be able to continue knowing when you are out to eat or at a friends..without carrying a weight scale around with you.
The general serving size rules are:
• Serving of protein – 1 palm
• Serving of Vegetable – 1 fist
• Serving of fat – 1 fingertip (butter, oil)
• Serving of fat – 1 thumb (nuts, nut butter, seeds, condiments)
• Serving of Carbohydrates – 1 handful
• 1 cup – fist (usually fruit fits in here)
• 1/2 cup – handful
• 3 ounces – deck of cards
• 1/4 cup – golf ball
1-1.5 ounces – 4 dice
• 1 tsp – tip of thumb
These are universal, and have stuck for years. To make this individual to you, you have to understand your body. For instance, someone who is 6’3″ and weights 210lbs is not going to eat the same amount as someone who is 5’4″ and weights 130lbs. And trust me, EATING LESS IS NOT ALWAYS THE ANSWER.
If you want to learn how much you should be eating, or about how many calories you burn in a day, check out this blog post!
Basically, that will let you know the amount of calories you burn in a day. So if you want to stay at your current weight, eat around there. If you want to burn fat, eat a little under that to start.
To figure things out, you want to make sure you are eating about 0.8-1.0g/lb of protein per day. That means for someone who weights 125lbs, they should be eating somewhere between 115-120g of protein per day. (4oz of chicken has about 35g of protein). Then you can fill the rest of your calories with carbs (includes fruits and vegetables; 1 cup of sweet potatoes has about 40g carbs) and healthy fats (1tbsp of oil has 14g of fat).
If you are eating something from a package, follow the servings on the back. That way you know you are only consuming one serving, and after awhile you will be able to eye ball it (with things like shredded cheese and toppings). If you are still concerned about how much you should be eating for your body type, size, you can always join my next Accelerator program that includes a meal template set up according to your body weight!
Yes, I know, eating the same thing over and over again is so bored. Yet, I bet any one of you would eat pizza every single day if it wouldn’t make you gain a bunch of weight. Huh, am I right? Anyways, lets break down different foods and which group they would be considered!
· Sweet potatoes
· Red potatoes
· Rice (Jasmine, basmati, brown)
· Cream of wheat
· Rice Cakes
· 99% lean ground beef
· Protein powder
· Egg whites
· Nut Butter
· Almond flour
· Black beans
· Refried beans
· Cottage Cheese
· Red meat
· Cured meats
Those are just some of the most popular items on my list! Don’t get too caught up in foods that have multiple macronutrients, I wanted to separate them so that you know exactly how these foods line up. Like with meat, I don’t want you pairing a steak with a pound of butter on it because that is an EXTREMELY high fat meal, and likely way too high in calories! I didn’t create this to overwhelm you, I just wanted to be sure you had a resource you could turn to when you get sick of certain foods. You can also always google the nutrition facts, but again, anything WITHOUT a label is not going to be something you need to be concerned about over-eating!
Trust me, if you eat real food that doesn’t have 5 or more ingredients…you aren’t going to overeat. You will be so full of health and fiber and nutrients that your brain is going to tell you to stop and that you are full, for long periods of time!