Not All Meals are Created Equal (Even Healthy Ones!)

Jenny's Journey

Let’s talk portions, calories, and nutrients!

Calorie counting and keeping track of my macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, protein) has been essential to my weight loss. Eating portions that are too big has always been a problem, but obviously the portion size depends on what type of food I am eating. I have also cut way back on eating restaurant food because the portions are often times 2-3 times the recommended size and there are often hidden calories in the way the food is prepared. At home, eating seconds is an issue that has had to be curtailed as well. I keep track of everything I eat with an app, so I can closely monitor my nutrition.

These photos are of are two meals I eat often, so let's compare them. 

Portions 1     Portions 2

 The one in the 7 inch wide yellow bowl is homemade cauliflower casserole. My husband, Rob, makes this for me and it is delicious! It has roasted cauliflower, leeks, spinach, a béchamel (hot yummy cheese) sauce, and is topped with bread crumbs. The meal on the 10.5 inch wide blue plates is my favorite in the world, fajita vegetables. I have given up the tortillas, and just eat the veggies with salsa and cheese. This allows me to cut back on unnecessary carbs as well as lower the total calories by 300. Being vegetarian, carbs are the main component of my diet, making up about 50-60% of my total daily intake, so I am working to try to increase my protein content and cut back on carbs where I can.

The cauliflower casserole has 600 calories per serving with 63 g carbs, 23 g fat, and 31 G protein. As you can see it is in a small bowl because it is more calorie dense and so the serving size is smaller. The fajita vegetables are on two dinner plates (like the one pictured). That is because I eat two full plates of these veggies, roughly 6 cups of vegetables, per serving. They have 400 calories for both plates with 58 g carbs, 10 g fat, and 16 g protein. So, this is why I eat so many vegetable fajitas! I can eat huge portions since they are extremely filling and so low in calories. 

It is a wonderful hearty meal at the end of the day. The downside is that they are lower in protein content, so in my other meals for the day I need to try and compensate for that.

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