What Should My Plate Look Like

By filling 1/2 of our plate with veggies, 1/4 with starchy carbs, 1/4 with protein, and a bit of fat, we can cover all our nutrient bases.
Nick Johnson
February 9, 2023
What Should My Plate Look Like

How do I know how much I should eat?  How can I make sure I'm getting a well-balanced meal and all of the nutrients that I need?

We get these questions a lot.  Depending on your goals, the specifics will vary for the individual. But, an easy place to start is the plate method. Different nutrition coaching services and companies offer similar versions of this, and it's super easy to do at home or when dining out.

Looking at the picture, we want to make sure that half of our plate is filled with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of our plate is filled with starchy carbs, a quarter of our plate is filled with protein, and a sliver of our plate is filled with a healthy fat source.

Non-starchy vegetables:  Think peppers, broccoli, greens, tomatoes etc. This is where we get our bulk and many of the antioxidants and micronutrients we need. The more we eat of this, the more full we will feel with fewer calories. For example, try eating a plate full of broccoli.  You'll get full quickly but won't consume many calories.

Starchy carbs: Carbs are not the enemy.  In fact, we need them.  Especially if we are in a sport like CrossFit. For this portion, potatoes, winter squashes, rice, etc all fit the bill.

Protein: Protein is important for a number of processes in our bodies.  We need it to repair and rebuild after working out.  Our organs need it to function properly. And our bodies burn more energy by breaking down protein, so it will help with weight loss on a number of different fronts.  Most of us are undereating this particular macronutrient. Needs vary per individual, but think .8-1g per pound of body weight.  More if you are trying to lose weight. Meats, dairies, and plant sources of protein work here.

Fat:  Fat won't make you fat.  It helps us absorb nutrients, is a fuel source, and for women especially, is important for our hormone health.  Prioritize healthy fats: nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, grass-fed butter, lard, etc, and stay away from vegetable oils and anything that is hydrogenated.

Make your plate look like this for every lunch and dinner and you will be well on your way to reaching your health goals. Need more individual help to reach your goals, our Nutrition Coach, Nick, is ready to help you get there. Reach out about setting up one-on-one coaching.

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