How To Portion Your Meals For Success

The Struggle is Real

When living a healthy lifestyle, we face MANY obstacles on a daily basis. The office guests that bring bagels for breakfast and pasta with brownies for lunch, the workday that ran over leaving no time to go to the grocery store or just sheer exhaustion that leaves us with no choice but to order dinner out for our sanity’s sake. We have either been there or from time to time still live there. The balance between doing what you know is right and doing what is convenient is always a hard fight! My goal is give you tips that you can begin to immediately incorporate into your life to make positive changes and improve your chances of success.

 A Healthy Balance

The best way to portion your meals for success is to have a healthy balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. A great way to balance your plate would be to approximate serving sizes of each food group on your plate. Using the plate for guidance might seem elementary but when you use it, you will see just how much more you are eating and those extra calories are preventing your weight loss and weight maintenance. Trust me, I have been there! is an amazing resource for you food related questions!

 Amazon has an affordable portion plates!

 Tips for using a portion plate successfully:

· Make sure your portions fit into the recommendations on   the plate

· Don’t pile you food up high to make it fit

· Make a habit of not regularly eating fried foods

· Don’t add high calories sauces and condiments to your food

 Building Your Perfect Meal

 Even if you don’t have a perfect portions plate you have seen one by now and can envision what your food should look like on your plate. If your dining out and your plate arrives with pasta covering half of it, you know from visualizing the correct portions that it should only cover a quarter of your plate. You should just eat half of it and either take the rest home or share it. Dining at a buffet should be even easier, you fill half of your plate with fruits and/or vegetables leaving room to split the remaining space on your plate between high proteins and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, a baked sweet potato or whole grain bread. 

Building the perfect meal isn’t only about the quantity but also the quality of what you are eating. You can eat a larger meal that keeps you fuller longer for the same amount of calories as a smaller meal of lesser quality. For example, you can eat a piece of fried chicken for 320 calories or you could have a piece of roasted or baked chicken for about 160 calories and add some sides like sweet potato fries or a homemade salad for a very filling meal.

Your Daily Calorie Goal

Do you know have many calories you should be consuming if you are trying to lose weight? If not, let’s give you some examples. Below are 3 different calorie categories depending on your weight loss ambitions.  For faster results women should use the 1,250-calorie meal plan and men should use the 1,550-calorie plan. To go the slow and steady approach women should use the 1,550-calorie meal plan and men should use the 1,800-calorie meal plan.


1,200-Calorie Plan

Healthy High Protein Foods- 2 servings

Low- Fat Dairy- 1 ½ servings

Vegetables- 4 or more servings

Fruits- 2 or more servings

Whole Grains/ Healthy Carbs- 4 servings

Healthy Fats- 6 servings

Treats- None


1,550-Calorie Plan

Healthy High Protein Foods- 2 servings

Low- Fat Dairy- 2 servings

Vegetables- 4 or more servings

Fruits- 2 or more servings

Whole Grains/ Healthy Carbs- 5 servings

Healthy Fats- 7 servings

Treats- 100 calories


1,800-Calorie Plan

Healthy High Protein Foods- 2 ½ servings

Low- Fat Dairy- 2 servings

Vegetables- 5 or more servings

Fruits- 3 or more servings

Whole Grains/ Healthy Carbs- 5 servings

Healthy Fats- 8 servings

Treats- 150 calories

See our Portion Control Tool to help you with approximating the serving sizes.

They are especially helpful when you are dining out!


Practice, Practice, Practice!

There is no better teach than experience, so if you want to get better at you portions and start losing weight you must PRACTICE! If you are a visual person take a paper plate and draw the appropriate sections on the plate. When you are ready to eat your meals, use the plate you made as a guide. Using this method will keep you in control of your meal and weight loss goals. There are many healthy takes on classic meals such as eggs with fruit and toast, a sandwich and baked salmon with quinoa and vegetables. If you don’t believe me take a look!



Healthy High Protein Foods-2 Eggs-1 serving

Low- Fat Dairy- 12 oz. 1% latte- 1 servings

Fruits-cup of mixed fruit-2 servings

Whole Grains/ Healthy Carbs- Half of a whole wheat english muffin-1 servings

Healthy Fats- 2 tsp. of olive oil to scramble the eggs-2 servings



Healthy High Protein Foods- 4 oz. any lean meat-1 serving

Vegetables- ½ cup of tomato, lettuce and onion-1 servings

Whole Grains/ Healthy Carbs- 2 slices of whole grain bread- 2 servings

Healthy Fats- 2 tsp. of mayonnaise and 1/3 of an avocado-3 servings



Healthy High Protein Foods- 4 oz. any lean meat-1 servings

Vegetables- 1 ½ cup of green beans and squash and ½ cup of fresh tomato salsa-4 servings

Whole Grains/ Healthy Carbs- ½ cup of quinoa with black beans and fresh herbs- 1 servings

Healthy Fats- 2 tsp. of olive oil to cook the vegetables-1 servings

You can plan your meals in a similar fashion and add up all of the serving sizes in the different groups to make sure you are within your ranges that you have selected.


Get Your H2O

Other than any beverages you are drinking within your meals, water should be your beverage of choice. It offers no calories, improves your skin and can boost your energy! Six to eight cups of water is recommended per day. If you don’t like the taste of water there are plenty of products that you can add to it without compromising calories. If soda is your thing, try club soda with fruit of your choice, it’s amazing!! Try new things until you find something that works for you! As always, we are here to help!