How to create the perfect meal

During my nutrition lecture at a university in Bangkok, I realized that many people do not know how to create a healthy meal. Questions such as: “What should I eat and how much should I eat?” are always asked after one of my lectures about nutrition.

Counting calories might not be the best long-term strategy. Eating loads of junk food will still keep you on track with your calorie total – if you are using a calorie counting method to measure your nutritional intake.  Personally and for some of my clients, I like to use a hand-sized portion guide. This works well as your hands are with you where and whenever you eat. They are more or less scaled to the individual. Typically, bigger people need more food and have bigger hands than smaller people. Another benefit is that if you look at the food in front of you and you can’t break it down into veggies, fat, carbs and protein it might not all that good for you. On the other hand (see what I did there) food you can clearly divide into categories are more likely to be higher in nutrients and will help in preventing nutrient deficiencies. This will help you to meet your protein, vegetable, carb, fat and calorie needs without ever needing to count every gram or weigh your food.

So let’s start……

palms

As you can see on the above picture. Your palm determines your protein portions. Your fist, a non-starchy vegetable portion. Your cupped hand, are your carbs, and your thumb determines your fat portions.

That equals approximately 20-30grams of carbs, 20-30g of protein and around 7-12g of fat. All of it depends on the size of your hands.

If you are an active male and eat about 4 meals per day, your total daily intake would be:

  • 6-8 palms of protein dense foods
  • 6-8 fists of vegetables
  • 6-8 cupped handful of carb dense foods
  • 6-8 thumbs of fat

Broken down into one meal it would look like 1.5-2 palms of protein, 1.5-2 fists of non-starchy vegetables, 1.5-2 cupped handful of carbs and 1.5-2 thumbs of fat.  All this equals around 2300 – 3000 calories per day.

For most active women, who eat about 4 meals per day, the total daily intake would be:

  • 4-6 palms of protein dense foods
  • 4-6 fists of vegetables
  • 4-6 cupped handful of carb dense foods
  • 4-6 thumbs of fat

Broken down into one meal it would be 1-1.5 palms of protein, 1- 1.5 fists of non-starchy vegetables, 1-1.5 cupped handful of carbs and 1-1.5 thumbs of fat. At the end of the day, we reach a total of about 1500 – 2100 calories.

How to create the perfect meal without counting calories or weighing food or other annoying strategies? . How about we use our hands. This works well as your hands are with you where and whenever you eat. They are more or less scaled to the individual. Typically, bigger people need more food and have bigger hands than smaller people. . Following these guidelines per meal will help you to meet your protein, vegetable, carb, fat and calorie needs without ever needing to count every gram or weigh your food. Actual portion size can change depending on your individual needs and goals. . 🍗 1-2 palms of protein dense foods . 🥕1-2 fists of vegetables . 🍞1-2 cupped handful of carb dense foods . 🥑1-2 thumbs of fat . . . . . . . . #fitfam #fitspo #fitspiration #instafit #fitnessmotivation #fitstagram #instagramfitness #livehealthy #healthiswealth #iamaspire #precisionnutrition #sustainableliving #bkkeats #bangkokeats #foodbkk #bangkokfood #thaifitness #thailandfitness #macros #thaifitnesscommunity #nutritioncoach #nutritioncoaching

A post shared by Jamal Younis (@jamal.jokkok) on

 

What about if you want to gain or lose weight?

The above numbers are just starting points and used mostly for maintenance. Actual portion size can change depending on your individual needs and goals.

Women and men who want to gain weight or are very active need to add more carbs and/or fat to some of their meals per day.

Alternately, women and men who want to lose body fat or are very inactive might need to remove some of the carbs and/or fat from the above numbers.

What exactly should I eat

A few examples of the common foods which are easily accessible:

Carbs:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Oats
  • Potato (sweet and normal)
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Fruit (any type)
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes

Protein:

  • Eggs
  • Lean meat (beef, pork)
  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Fish and seafood
  • Dairy (cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt)
  • Protein powders (whey, vegetarian)
  • Beans and legumes
  • Tempeh and tofu

Fat:

  • Avocado
  • Eggs and dairy
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fatty fish
  • Olives and olive oil

Non-starchy vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Kale, Spinach, and other greens
  • Salad greens (chicory, endive, escarole, lettuce, romaine, spinach, watercress)
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • ….and much more

If you understand the basics of a long-term, sustainable nutrition but you suffer from other problems regarding nutrition, please have a look here: Emotional eating, Hunger cues, 5 Tips to stay fit and prevent weight gain.

Let me know your ideas, thoughts, and experiences regarding how the perfect meal. Please write them in the comments below or as a message. And share this post with people you know, who will benefit from these strategies. Thank you.

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