Portion control and meal plan guide


Guest Contributor: Noel Flynn from ABC GYM

If you have not seen it yet, I can go off on complete tangents, like it is funny, I can lose track of my thoughts and what I am talking about when I am having a conversation with people and if you know me and are reading this, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

If you are in the Look Good, Feel Better Facebook Group you will have gradually started to realise that too, as I can totally go off point sometimes, and it got me thinking,yes it hurt a little, there are areas in all of our lives, that we can go off topic, lose a sense of direction, and go off on tangents we had not intended to.

Did you ever go to the gym with great intentions and an idea or plan of what you wanted to do but the machine or equipment you planned on using was in use? It unsettled your intentions, tried something else but it just was not the same, it did not give you the same impact as you planned going in.

Have you ever being to a restaurant and the item you had planned to eat was not on the menu? Again, it can alter your perception of what your healthy eating plan for the day may have been.

See there I am  going slightly off topic…..

Basically what I am getting at is we all need to be held accountable. Accountability is key in so many areas of our lives.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-23-02-10Take for example the reason I order a lot of my food online is so that I am not tempted to pick up something else when I am in the shop. Therefore if I am not in the shop, I avoid temptations. I have said this time and time again but so many people go on about not knowing what to eat to be fit and healthy. I honestly think that for the vast majority of people, that is complete nonsense. Life is about choices and decisions. We can choose to talk bull$h1t and claim ignorance towards food choices but let’s try a little test…..and I really do not mean to offend or belittle people here but let look at some food choices:

Chicken Breast or Chicken Dippers

An Orange or Orange Juice (shop bought in a carton)

Apple or Apple Tart

Rice or Rice Krispies

Look I think we get the drift…….or do you?

If you have not guessed, my philosophy around eating is based on developing habits while trying to eat as naturally as possible. A short and basic list is:

Protein from meats, eggs, fish, dairy if tolerant, whey protein and if vegetarian Quinoa is a great source.

Carbs from fruit, veg, potatoes, sweet potatoes (they are no better or no worse than regular) some grains like rice, oats etc

Fat from real butter, coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-23-02-55I could go on but if you remember my earlier blogs: simplicity + consistency = success This is why I like the hand for measuring your macros (Protein, Carbs and Fats) and yes I did say Hand. Let me explain. Your meals should consist of: 1 palm of protein. 1 fist of Veg or Fruit. 1 cupped hand of rice / potatoes / oats. 1 thumb of fat from butter or nuts, seeds etc. Have a meal like this, 3 times per day or split across the day into 4 or 5 smaller meals and you will be on course.

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-22-54-20Again to keep it simple and consistent eat like this 80% to 90% of the time rather than trying 100% and then feeling you have failed if you go off track slightly.


To put this in perspective: If you were to eat on average 4 times per day 7 days per weeks, that is 28 times in a week, 10% of this would be 2.8 meals in the week that could be more treat based (we will say 3 things) Here is where our problems lie those 3 treats are not 3 separate food binges. 3 treats are a dessert with Sunday dinner, a Glass of wine of a Tuesday night and a bag of crisps with lunch on a Friday. If you want to double that, make sure 80% of the time you are eating sensibly.

Now is where you need to swap things to keep the calories down.

Most people say they lose control at the weekend and I understand that, we like a night out at the weekend and I have no intention of changing Irish culture but realise that if you want to improve your body composition and you plan on having 2 bottles of wine on a Saturday night, then be prepared to be hungry for a day or 2 as well. Too many people are afraid to say things like that but you cannot have it every way. This is why diets based around protein intake are so effective. Protein keeps us satisfied for longer and therefore feeling less hungry, while reducing cravings.

I have no problems with carbs. Eat all the fruit and Veg that you want but if you want to eat all the treats (notice the treats are all carbs, but processed carbs) you need to reduce your intake of breads, rice, pastas etc that people consume in too great of portions.

So to finish off, what I want for this week is people to hold themselves accountable by sticking to the food guidelines above aiming for 90% of the time. We are still mindful of eating slowly, stopping when full, taking time to plan and prepare but now I want you to consume Protein every time you eat.

This could be eggs at breakfast, some chicken at lunch, fish at dinner time and if you are having a snack have whey protein or greek yoghurt or even better mix the 2 for a pudding style dessert.

So for those in the group I want you to start putting up pictures of your meals, this is your accountability and for those who want to join, please do so at https://www.facebook.com/groups/LookGoodFeelBetterwithABCgym/

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 18.30.49

You can follow Noel on Snapchat on @abcgym and on Instagram here.


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