Another really important component to nutrition basics is understanding what should be on your plate. How much do you need of what foods?
There is no one size fits all here because we are all different shapes and sizes. Some of us exercise more than others and therefore need to increase our protein, carbohydrates and fats, so it’s about finding a balance that works for you.
I would also like to point out that this is definitely not a calorie counting exercise and I don’t believe in a diet approach. What I do believe in is helping you to reap the health benefits of having a healthier plate and increasing variety and getting the balance right will help you to feel fuller for longer and this will positively impact sugar cravings, the frequency of snacks and how much eat overall.
So how much should you have of what foods? You will see below the image of the Amy Savage Nutrition Healthy Plate. I’m going to start this week with one key component – PROTEIN.
Start small and work up!
Protein is often over-consumed, this can mean unnecessarily higher intake of saturated fats for those consuming a lot of animal protein. Start this week by assessing how much protein you are consuming with your evening meals and then start to assess lunch and breakfast.
How much protein should you be consuming?
Males 0.84g protein per kg of body weight*
Females 0.75g protein per kg of body weight*
*more if exercising (a rough guide is 1g protein per kg of body weight).
HOW to update your plate?
The goal this week is to increase awareness of how much protein you are consuming on your plate. For example, over-consumption of animal proteins can lead to higher intake of saturated fats and lower intakes of carbohydrates and importantly, fibre. When food shopping look at portion size and if you are buying meat look at the portion size you are buying. I’m not recommending that you start to weigh your food, but to read labels and be aware of your portion size.
Males should aim for approx 150g serves of animal protein and females should aim for approx 100g serves of animal protein and for plant-based sources of protein males approx 200g and females approx 150g.
It is common that a one serve piece of steak sold in the supermarket, for example, is often in the range of 200-300g in size and this can be used for two meals instead of one – so not only good for you, but good for your budget and good for the planet.
It is also worth being aware that protein exists in all sorts of foods and is even found in low quantities in fruit and vegetables. If you have a morning coffee there is protein, if you have oats for breakfast or rice with your meal, there is additional protein – so it’s actually very easy to meet your daily recommended intake.
WHY protein is an important component to your plate?
Protein is an important component of every cell in our body and is made up from amino acids. Amino acids fall into a couple of different categories; essential, conditionally essential and non-essential. Essential are amino acids that we need to obtain from our diet, conditionally means we need to obtain some from out diet and non-essential means that we can produce them ourselves and they aren’t obtained from our diet.
– Building blocks for muscles, blood and skin
– Creating new cells and replacing and repairing ones
– Some proteins are used as enzymes – think digestive enzymes as well as many others
– Some proteins are used in hormones
– Regulating fluid balance in the body
– Transporters to carry molecules around the body
– Energy source and glucose
Now that you are armed with the HOW and WHY of the importance of protein, I hope you join me by assessing your protein intake and remember, start small and work up!
I’d love to see your photos of you participating in my 12-week challenge. Feel free to email them to share with our community or tagging details below.
Have a great week.
Share your photos and tag me @amysavagenutrition #amysavagenutritiongoals