Plate Prepping 101

by Christine Lusita | | Health + Fitness, Lifestyle

“Meat and two sides” seems to be a concept that’s been around since cavemen days. (Mammoth steak with wild onions and a wheatgrass garnish? I can see that.) The fact is, it’s not a bad concept! Combining protein with carbohydrates and fat gives both quick energy and a sustaining sense of fullness. But before you tuck into that caveman-approved burger and fries, let’s check in with our 21st-century dietary needs.

What to eat:

Each person has different needs for carbs, protein, and fats. Athletes can tolerate (and need) more carbs and protein than nonathletes; active folks will need more calories than sedentary ones. Try the different combinations below, but honor your body’s feedback. You might feel bloated with too many carbs, or too lethargic with too much protein.

If you are an average person maintaining good health and good weight,
What you eat is 40/30/30. That’s 40 percent carbs, 30 percent protein, and 30 percent fat (with 10 percent or less saturated fat)

Your daily breakdown:

4 proteins—lean meat, fish, chicken, beans, nuts 5 fruits/vegetables
3–4 carbohydrates
3 fats

Your typical meals:

Breakfast: 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fat, 2 fruits/veggies Lunch: 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fat, 1 fruit/veggie Dinner: 2 proteins, 2 carbs, 2 fruits/veggies, 1 fat Snacks: Protein/fruit

If you are an active person maintaining good weight,
What you eat is 55/25/20; 55 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, 20 percent fat. Most

active people are able to consume more carbs without paying the weight price.

Your daily breakdown:

4 proteins
5 fruits/vegetables 5 carbohydrates
2 fats

Your typical meals:

Breakfast: 2 proteins, 2 carb, 2 fruits/veggies Lunch: 2 proteins, 2 carbs, 2 fruits/veggies Dinner: 1 protein, 1 carb, 1 fruit/veggie, 1 fat Snack: protein, fruit/veggie

If you are Christine, your body and brain work a lot better on a high-protein diet, and carbs leave you feeling bloated and unsatisfied.

If you are you, pay attention to how your body operates best, and check the upcoming food plans for a lot more information about what to put on your plate.