Perfect Portion Sizes for a Healthy Holiday Meal

Thanksgiving may be over, but the even more calorically delicious holiday season awaits. We’ve talked in detail about the importance of adequately portioning a protein-vegetable-carbohydrate meal. I’d like to simplify the exact food serving sizes so it is easier to apply the knowledge of good nutrition to proper portions. A single serving of meat per plate should be about 3oz, which can contain anywhere from 150-350 calories, depending on the type of meat and protein: fat ratio (the CDC recommends about 2-3 servings of meat daily maximum). Realistically, this is about the size of your fist. On special occasions I think it is absolutely fair to splurge. Since I prefer to eat a little more protein and compensate by reducing the amount of carbohydrates I eat, the meat on my holiday meal’s dish are about the size of an iPhone 6 plus. On a regular day, the meat on my plate is about the size of an iPhone 6.

Related Content: Your Guide to Healthy Holiday Eating

The amount of vegetables/fruit on my dinner plate is regularly about 3-4 servings (I eat about 8-10 servings daily). I think of one serving as equivalent to the size of two large Honey Crisp Apples. During a holiday meal, I will usually eat less than 3-4 servings so that I can enjoy other high caloric treats on my plate. The final and best part of the meal, desert, truly requires will power. I will either enjoy one large slice of pie, or take small bites of many different types of desert, always making sure never to exceed the size of a single pie slice. The way I look at it, depriving yourself of foods you crave on special occasions like Christmas, Hanukkah or Eid will only guilt trip you into eating more the next day to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy your holiday meal, and work on those proactive skills to hit the gym the following day. Happy Holidays!

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.