The building blocks for a healthy diet
To take the guesswork out of structuring your plate and manage portion control, we created several guides to use as visuals. These guides will help you build well-balanced meals and create a healthy relationship with food.
Serving Size Guide
The serving sizes on your plate are as vital as what you eat. Remember, moderation is key. It's possible to eat too many calories, even while eating nutritious foods.
Keep age in mind. We wish it didn't, but age also plays a role in portion control. Because it becomes increasingly difficult to stay in shape or shed excess weight with every decade that passes by, we’ve had to slightly adjust our portions as our metabolism slows.
We want you to keep this in mind throughout your journey and if necessary, slightly adjust your portions or weekly cheat meals.
Breakfast Ideas Guide
Before you eat, think about how you can adjust portions on your plate to get more of what you need without too many calories.
Plate Guide: How to break down your plate
Because we owe a lot of our success to properly portioning our plate, here's a breakdown along with common examples of the foods we consider to be in each group. Some may surprise you!
We put this one first on purpose. Veggies should take the lead role in the show... we're talking half the plate. Side salads count, so get your green on with some non-starchy veggies.
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Salad greens and spinach
Whether you eat meat or not, getting proper amounts of protein is important. While protein shouldn't take center stage, it deserves a spot front and center... about a quarter of your plate.
- Milk and yogurt
Carbs (including grains and fruit)
Carbs can make or break your weight loss journey, which is why we suggest you limit (not eliminate) them. Let them play a supporting role in your meal, rather than a lead.
Because we owe a lot of our success to this, here are some examples of the foods we consider to fall under this category.
- Bread and tortillas: whole-grain and grain-free
- Fruits and berries: especially bananas and apples
- Legumes and beans: beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas
- Milk and yogurt (although high in protein, still high carb)
- Starchy vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, corn, beets, squash and parsnips
- Sugar in any form
- Whole grains: brown rice, oats and quinoa
Note: We included starchy veggies in this category because they have three to six times more calories (and carbs) than non-starchy vegetables. As a result, it’s important to eat them in moderation, especially if you’re looking to lose weight.
Healthy fats aren't shown on the plate because they're often used to cook your veggies in and are intertwined with your protein. Think small... a teaspoon or so per meal. Examples: veggies sautéed in EVOO, coconut oil used to cook eggs, or nuts on your salad.
Some additional healthy fats are:
- Egg yolks
- Full-fat cheese
- Flax and chia seeds
- Healthy oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil
- Nuts and nut butters
Here's the perfect smoothie ratio for balanced taste and health benefits.
A few tips:
- A high powered blender will MAKE or BREAK your smoothie. It takes your smoothie from chunky to thick and creamy. Our personal favorite is Nutribullet because we can drink out of the cup we blend in. Less dishes? Heck yes!
- If you’re making your smoothie a meal, add a little protein, fat and fiber to help fill you up.
- Flavor it with FROZEN fruit. Not only does frozen fruit retain its nutritional value and flavor, it CHILLS your smoothie.
- Get your green on. Go slow when beginning to add more veggies into your diet. As your palate adjusts, increase your greens and decrease your fruit.
Using these guides will help you create a meal that balances taste, nutrients and health benefits without eliminating any of your favorite food groups. Remember, it's all about BALANCE baby!
To print an individual chart, choose below and print using the "Landscape" setting: