Serving Sizes – How Much Of What Do I Eat?

Over the past weekend I ate a huge feast at Boa, a Brazilian BBQ restaurant on Scarborough Beach. They came around with skewers of 7 different meats and gave you a piece or two of each one over the course of 30-60 minutes.

It was a carnivore’s heaven and I was loving it!

We did have sides of salad, rice, black beans, cheese balls, tomato salsa and potato salad to compliment the skewers, but the meat was definitely the highlight. And as it was all you can eat, I made the most of it.

Going to town on a buffet and getting your money’s worth is never the best thing when you’re trying to lose weight.

But so many of us just can’t help ourselves. We want to try everything and eat until we are done, not until we are full. Then we often roll ourselves out of the restaurant and straight into bed.

The same thing often applies at home. You cook a meal and serve it up, and once you finish your plate decide you’ll just have a little more until it’s all gone.

Did you need it? No.

Did you want it? YES!

How much food should we be putting on our plate?
I’ll show you.

And will the right selection of foods fill us up?

Now I want you to forget the food pyramid, and embrace what each plate of food should look like.

John Berardi, mastermind behind Precision Nutrition, makes it really easy for us.

Use a smaller plate if you’re a smaller person and a larger plate if you’re a larger person.

‘You’ll notice that each recommendation includes a few key components:
–          what to eat (and drink)
–          when to eat it
–          how much to eat

Because exercise plays a big role in daily energy expenditure and nutrient tolerance, we decided that one plate isn’t enough. Instead, we need two plates.’

Berardi also suggests putting the fork down when you’re 80% full, not when the plate is empty.

The first of the plates is an ‘Anytime Meal’.

This meal you can eat any time. If you are not exercising, then this is what you should be eating like all the time!

Your only drinks are water or tea as they have zero calories.

The largest portion of your food is vegetables, and you want to get a wide variety of veggies preferably with a rainbow of colours. Start adding capsicum, yellow squash, beetroot, red onion, carrots, etc, to add some colour your meal.

You should also be having a small serve of healthy fats from oils, nuts and seeds, but not too much.

And your protein should come from red meat, chicken, fish, eggs or a vegetarian source. Vegetarians must not skip out on their protein requirements. Berardi even has a vegetarian plate you can check out here: (You can also get high resolution images to print from the same link).

You’ll notice there’s no starchy carbs on the ‘Anytime Meal’ plate either. They’re limited to only after workouts, which you’ll see on the next plate.

The second plate is the ‘Post Workout Meal’.

This is for only after an intense workout!

If you do Bootcamp or an intenste strength workout 3 days a week and cardio intervals 3 days a week you’d only have this after the 3 Bootcamp or strength workouts.

This is to take advantage of the body’s metabolic response to exercise. You’ll utilize the starchy carbs better after a high energy workout.

You’ll notice the protein component is larger in this meal, because protein is necessary to help rebuild the muscles and aid recovery.

You’ll also notice that the vegetables section also includes fruit. This is because fruits contain sugar and the best time to utilize sugar is after an intense workout.

Drinks are still limited to water and tea.

Ideally you should be eating real food for this meal, preferably organic and as unprocessed as possible, but sometimes you’re just gonna be too busy.

So a protein shake with some added maltodextrin, dextrose or rice/potato starch will help you out in this situation. Many post-workout shakes are made this way or you can mix your own, but you still need to get the vegetables and fruit in! Don’t forget them.

The meal is a little bigger than the ‘Anytime Meal’ because of the extra starchy carbs.

Both of these plates still follow our fat loss rules, and they should because they are based on what John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition program. He’s coached over 200,000 people on nutrition so the guy knows how to help you transform your body.

So I’ve listed them again for you to review. If you go through the list and get to one which you are not doing, make that your focus for the next 2 weeks and change your old habit.

If you change your habits, you’ll change your life.

The 10 Rules of Good Nutrition for Fat Loss and Long Term Health

1. Take fish oil and a multi vitamin every day.

2. Eat at least 5 serves of vegetables every day.

3. Eat other carbs only after exercise. By other carbs we are referring to energy dense carbs such as bread, rice, pasta, sugars, potatoes, etc. So reward yourself with a carb dense meal directly after a workout because that’s when your body can use them.

4. Eat every 2-4 hours. This equates to 4+ times a day. They don’t need to be big meals. Some can be snacks. Just make each meal comply with these 10 rules.

5. Eat lean protein with each meal or snack. Good sources of protein are fish, eggs, meat and protein powder. Other protein sources such as low fat dairy, nuts and seeds and legumes all are good in moderation, but remember they also contain carbs and/or fat.

Protein helps your body build or maintain muscle, increase your metabolic rate and helps you feel full so you don’t over eat.
Women – Try to get 20-30 grams of protein (60-100g of cooked meat) at each main meal.
Men – Try to get 30-50 grams of protein (100-170g of cooked meat) at each main meal.

6. Only drink fluids that contain 0 calories including fruit juice. Instead drink around 2 litres of water throughout the day. Green tea is also good.

7. Plan ahead and prepare foods in advance.

8. Eat whole foods instead of supplements or pre-packaged foods wherever possible.

9. Eat as wide a variety of good foods as possible, and try some new stuff!

10. Plan to break the rules 10% of the time. That means sticking to the rules 90% of the time.

For more information on any of the 10 rules, click on the blue text (above) or check out

Or if you need more assistance with your food, you can get coaching from John Berardi and his team at Precision

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