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Counting Calories and Portion Size by Tammy Stokes

21 Jan 2015
Counting Calories and Portion Size by Tammy Stokes

No, I do not count calories. I do it all on visual portion sizes. Life is busy and most of us do not have time to calculate and add up calories for everything we plan on eating. I like the simplicity of visuals. These visuals are great for measuring the servings sizes without every having to take out a food scale or calculator.

PROTEIN: Protein portions should be the size and thickness of a deck of cards or the size of your palm during mealtimes and half of that for snacks. Males and larger body frames can use the size of the palm as a visual portion size because it relates to body frame size unlike a deck of cards.

FEMALES (Smaller Body Frame)

  • 1-2 oz protein for snacks (1/2 deck of cards)
  • 3-4 oz protein at mealtime (5 oz max/deck of cards)

MALES (Larger Body Frame)

  • 2-4 oz protein for snacks (1/2 -1 deck of cards)
  • 4-6 oz protein at mealtime (7 oz max/size of palm)

As a visual of your plate during lunch and dinner, protein should take up a ¼ of the plate size. For weight loss, use the smaller portion sizes listed. For weight maintenance, cycle between the two portion sizes.

HEALTHY FATS: The serving size for healthy fats is varied; generally speaking, it should be the size of your thumb from the knuckle up.

1 pat butter

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil

¼ avocado

8-15 almonds

handful seeds (small handful, sprinkle as a topping)

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: The serving size for fruits and vegetables is 1-2 cups in most circumstances. High fiber, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables can be eaten almost on an unlimited basis unless weight loss is the primary goal. Just keep consumption under control. If you get hungry, then add more vegetables. The only stipulation is that they must be fresh or frozen and high in fiber. As a visual of your plate during lunch and dinner, vegetables should take up half of your plate. For weight loss, don’t eat fruit after lunch; choose vegetables instead.

HIGH FIBER, WHOLE GRAIN CARBOHYDRATES: The high fiber, whole grain carbohydrates list is short. The foods in this category are steel cut oats, whole oats, quinoa, brown rice and sprouted grain bread products.

FEMALES (Smaller Body Frame)

  • 1 slice bread
  • ½ - ¾ cup brown rice and grains

MALES (Larger Body Frame)

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 – 1 ½ cup brown rice and grains

As a visual of your plate during breakfast and lunch, high fiber carbohydrates should take up ¼ of your plate size. For weight loss, do not eat this food group after lunch or late afternoon snack, leaving that portion of your plate empty.