How much should I eat? (portion control)

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So measuring up portions can be tricky when people are constantly telling you to eat this and eat that. Or their telling you to have 4oz chicken…. Well that’s all fine and dandy if you have a food scale but lets get honest, most of ya’ll don’t have one. So how do you know how much if right for you personally? The average 4oz is fine but say a bodybuilder at 210lbs is going to need more than a young 20 year old girl at 130lbs…. so here are some basics when it comes to portions and knowing how much to eat for you.

Keep in mind portion and serving sizes are different too. Serving size is just a standard way they measure food. Portion is how much you actually pile on your place. Both are a part of weight loss and very important.

1. Close your hand into a fist. This usually amounts to anywhere around 1 cup depending on your hand. If you look at your spouses fist it may be bigger than yours, that’s because his/her body may require more calories and thus bigger portions.

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  • Veggies (portion is 2 fists worth (2 cups) ..but in reality you can eat as MUCH veggies as you want!!!)
  • Carbs – brown rice, sweet potato, cereals, quinoa, beans, oats, fruit.

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2. Open up your hand and just look at the palm. Depending on how big your hand is its usually around 3-5 oz size. This is your protein sizing. Turn your hand to the side, this is how thick your meat should be and or make up for the size if your piece of meat is thicker than your hand.. (you know… use common sense haha) ** ONLY the palm, no fingers included lol**

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  • Meats (chicken, turkey, game, tofu, steak, fish, eggs etc.)

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3. Now give yourself a thumbs up! =) (hee hee) this is your fats and dressings. Usually keep it at about a tablespoon.

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  • Almond/peanut butters
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasonings (I like Mrs. Dash – no salt! )
  • Sour Cream and Cream Cheese – if your trying to lose weight .. limit these.

4. Tip of your thumb is about a teaspoon.

  • oils
  • butters

Hope this helps for those of you without a scale or for when your out to eat and the restaurant gives you a HUGE serving …. just eat “your portion size” and take the rest home. You can have the rest at another time =)

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** Count your calories and macronutrients , don’t go over or under but get them as close to your goal as you can. Workout and be patient.. the rest will fall into place! YOU GOT THIS! =)

 

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Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_

 

 

My Current Meal and Supplement Plan (Fitness Comp Prep)

A lot of people have been asking what my diet looks like, what I eat, when I eat and how they can get their metabolism running faster… the key is to eat super clean foods every 3 hours so your body doesn’t even have a chance to feel hungry. I also focus more on counting my macronutrients (protein, carb, fiber and fat) more than my calories..

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… so here it is!

I always make sure I drink 8oz water right when I  wake up.

Supplements at waking:

  • 200-300 mg caffeine (or a pre-workout, depending on my mood)
  • 500-1000 mg Green Tea Extract
  • 1-2 g Acetyl-L-Carnitine
  • 1000 mg White Kidney Bean Carb Intercept

Meal 1: (don’t wait more than 30 min to eat after you wake up)

  • 1/2 cup Steel Cut oats prepared with water.
  • Splash of almond milk
  • 1/2 banana cut up inside it for sweetness
  • sprinkle of cinnamon =)

***This is usually the time of day I workout (around 60-90 min)***

Meal 2: (Post-workout)

  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice. Mixed with 10 oz unsweetened Almond milk. 1 scoop glutamine powder, 1 scoop greens, 1 scoop carbohydrate blend, and 1 scoop BCAA’s.
  • With other 1/2 of banana.

Supplements :

  • 1 Multi-vitamin
  • 1-2 g L-Carnitine
  • 1000 mg White Kidney Bean Carb Intercept

Meal 3:

  • Medium size salad with 2oz grilled chicken/shrimp or turkey (usually cut into chunks)
  • 1 cup brown rice or quinoa. (or 1/2 baked sweet potato)
  • 10 almonds.

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Supplements :

  • 200-300 mg caffeine
  • 500-1000 mg Green Tea Extract
  • 1-2 g Acetyl-L- Carnitine

Meal 4:

  •  1 scoop protein powder of choice. Mixed with 10 oz unsweetened Almond milk. 1 scoop glutamine powder, 1 scoop greens, and 1 scoop BCAA’s.
  •   1/4 avocado
  • 1 cup of  carrots or 3 celery sticks (or both haha)

Meal5:

  • 3oz Grilled Salmon/Tilapia (seasoned with Ms. Dash – no salt)
  • 10 spears of Asparagus
  • As big of a dinner salad as I want! …. (Dressings I use are all oil based – usually Newman’s own or Annie’s Brand.) about 2tbsp. I also add salsa sometimes too (its healthier than dressings…)

Supplements:

  • 2-3 g CLA
  • 2-3 g Fish oil

Meal 6:

  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice. Mixed with 10 oz unsweetened Almond milk. 1 scoop glutamine powder, 1 scoop greens, and 1 scoop BCAA’s.
  • 1/2 cup nuts or seeds (almonds, cashews, pecans, pumpkin, sunflower)

Supplements before bed:

  • 2-3 g CLA
  • 2-3 g Fish Oil
  • 2-3 g Glutamine

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WATER WATER WATER ALL DAY!!!!!! DRINK UP

**The supplements and meal plan that I’m on is geared towards my goals for preparing for the fitness competition. I’m not stating that people should take these supplements because everyone is different and have different goals. This is just what I do one a every day basis and it works for me. **

Tip of the Week #15 Grocery Shop after you Workout

I’m telling you, I almost always stop into the grocery store after my workout. I feel great, awake and eager to make healthier choices after I’ve just spent an hour sweating. This is why you should try grocery shopping after you workout. grocery0000 ENDORPHINS! YAY! The happy hormone is naturally coursing though your body after you workout. Along with all that happiness, you usually just feel good after a workout in general, along with  a sense of self accomplishment and pride. You just worked your butt off, wanting more for yourself and health.. why not take it to the grocery store with you and load up on some clean eats! Also when you go… make sure you’ve brought a snack with you for the road to munch on while you’re on your way to the grocery store. Or when you first get there, hit the produce isle and grab some fruit or even an already made protein shake . I like to make my shake before I head to the gym so then when I get out, its right there ready to chug lol. workgroc2 Good post-workout snacks – Click on this link –Good Post-Workout Snacks!

Now this is where everyone gets it wrong, I used to do (and think) the same way… but man things start REALLY kickin’ along when you don’t use the excuse of    “I just worked out, I deserve this” …. so therefore you use the fact that you basically just busted your butt at the gym so its ok if I eat this ice cream or girl scout cookies…. No, your undoing what you just did its a catch 22… Yeah  every once in a while is fine, don’t get me wrong there but if its an every time occurrence… you might want to think about what goals you have in place and how much you really want something. Also, just as an experiment, you should try the other way around and see how much different you feel. =)

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Good Post-Workout Snacks!

postwork1 Its good to eat something little before a workout! ( I usually have 1/2 cup oats every morning.. just enough to take away that hunger fast I got while I was asleep ) But post-workout snacks are just as important too! Here are some amazing (and healthy) post- workout snacks!!!

** Post-workout = after your workout**

Think high protein and good carb! =)

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  • Protein shake with fruit. (my first choice is a banana!)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Almond/Peanut butter on whole wheat toast or pita bread
  • Hummus on a pita bread
  • Turkey rolled up in a Whole Wheat tortilla.

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  • Banana or apple with 2 tbsp. almond/peanut butter
  • Dried fruit and nut mix (shoot for lowest sugar you can find… and with minimal m&m’s lol. )
  • Fruit smoothie (with protein powder and chia/flax seed)
  • Egg whites on toast topped with avocado
  • Turkey and tomato wrapped in whole wheat tortilla
  • Egg while veggie omelet
  • Chocolate milk with fruit

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Healthy Options at Old Chicago

So I love pizza, don’t get me wrong but it can either be an ok dish or a really horrible dish for you. We’re going to look through their menu and Ill let you know which options are ok, and which options your should just probably steer clear from. =)

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Starters:

Their Chips and salsa are about the only one that isn’t too much like a “meal” in itself. I mean the Sampler platter has almost 1000 calories in itself and that’s half of what your supposed to consume in a day ..

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Soups & Salads:

The Chicken Tortilla soup with Green Chili is the better option out of all of them but its still high in sodium.

All the salads should be fine, make sure you get the dressing on the side and even maybe substitute it for an oil based dressing if the salad you choose doesn’t automatically come with it.

Top choices:

  • Mediterranean Salad with Chicken
  • Harvest Salad w/ Balsamic Chicken
  • Classic Chicken Caesar

Sandwiches & Burgers Top Choices include:

  • Chicken Wrap
  • California Chicken
  • Burger,  sub with Chicken Breast
  • Burger, Old Chicago Plain

Calzone Top Picks: – these still aren’t the best but if you must…

  • Chicago Seven
  • Chicago Seven Stromboli

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Thin crust ,Add on those veggies and it will be better!!!

Pasta Top Choice:

  • Classic Spaghetti
  • Lasagna

There really isn’t much so if you know your going to go there for lunch or dinner, plan out your meals so you know how much your consuming. That way if your super good throughout the day, maybe you can have Old Chicago as a treat!

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Tip of the Week #12 Eat 6 Smaller meals a day!

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So some people swore by it, some people are totally against it. So let me tell you how it can be amazing and work and you will never be hungry again and then I’m going to tell you in return, how it can have a negative effect and honestly probably hurt you.

The Good :

It is known that frequent smaller meals can not only curb those hunger pains we often get in between our average “3 meals a day” but also speed up your metabolism. Eating more foods (ideally cleaner foods) helps get you the nutrients you need and keeps your energy levels up as well . Here are some examples of how to do this correctly, and what is considered a “small meal”. Each meal (of the 6) should consist of a lean protein, Lower carbohydrate, high fiber, and low fat snack/meal. Always include veggies and fruits in at least 4 if not all your meals.

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Some examples:

  • Half of turkey sandwich on 100% Whole Wheat bread with light mayo or mustard. Side of Veggies and hummus.
  • Big Spinach Salad with fruit and a tablespoon of almond butter on the side.
  • Grilled chicken breast with steamed veggies
  • Protein shake
  • Lean meat with sweet potato and veggie
  • Medium apple with string cheese
  • Hardboiled egg on a slice of whole wheat bread. 1 half of grapefruit
  • Lean meat with 1 cup brown rice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower

Key pointers: Make sure you keep your portion control in check and make sure you aren’t only eating a lot of one key nutrient (i.e.. Grains)

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The Bad:

Eating 6 smaller meals can go back when you either don’t watch your portions (this isn’t grazing all day kind of diet its a cut your meals in half and eat them every 3 hours). Also, it can go back when you aren’t getting a balanced meal every time you eat. Make sure your getting the cleanest forms of foods ideally. You don’t want to have every snack you have to be a protein or granola bar, you need to mix it up.

Also if your eating out all the time. (cheeseburgers, fast foods and processed foods, ) these are not considered cleaner foods… If your eating these at every 3 hours, this will not work either.

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Some examples of how this Wont work:

  • Cheeseburgers all the time. With fries
  • Granola bars and fruit bars for every snack
  • Foods with too much sugar constantly throughout the day (gummy snacks, too much fruits with added sugar)
  • Not a balance of nutrients  (of anything)
  • Too many sandwiches throughout the day or week. (mix it up!)
  • Prepared Salads and meals at fast food chains (sorry but they are ideally not the best but ok when only in a time crunch or you drop your prepared meal or something.)
  • Energy bars and drinks. Some are ok, but usually the ones everyone likes have more sugar than a snickers bar!
  • Pre-made smoothies – your better off making your own.

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