How to Build a Balanced Meal: Eat by the Plate

by JJ Virgin

Want to support your immune system, be the best fat burner, lower inflammation, and heal your gut? Start with the Plate…

When it comes to staying full and focused throughout your day while crushing hunger and cravings, I have a few foundational principles.

One, I want you to break your fast every morning with a fast, filling loaded smoothie.

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Two, I want to teach you to live by the plate. You'll eat every four to six hours, and then close up the kitchen about three hours before bed so you get a 12 – 14 hour overnight fast.

Eating by the plate is simple. You start each meal with protein, healthy fats, lots of fiber, and some slow low carbs.

Why this combo?

  • The protein works with the fiber to slow down stomach emptying. That improves satiety.
  • ​The fat triggers the small intestine to release chemicals to tell the brain that it’s full. ​
  • You should have loads of non-starchy vegetables for antioxidants and satiety. ​
  • A small amount of low-glycemic, high-fiber carbs, such as lentils or berries, slowly releases sugar to the brain for energy so you can continue to focus. That will keep your blood sugar stable and insulin low so you can use stored fat for fuel.

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Each meal should include: 

1 serving of clean, lean protein (fish, chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef) 

  • Aim for .75 – 1 gram of protein for every pound of ideal body weight. So if your ideal body weight is 150 pounds, you would need between 113 and 150 grams of protein daily.
  • Serving size: women should eat 4-6 ounces at each meal; larger or more athletic women 6-8 ounces
  • Men should eat 8 ounces; larger or very athletic men up to 10 ounces 
  • Lean towards the higher range if you are very athletic, recovering from surgery, or healing from a wound

1 – 3 servings of healthy fats 

  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 small avocado, 4 ounces cold-water fish, 10 nuts, 1 tablespoon nut butter, 5 olives
  • Be sure to count fat from protein, so grass-fed beef or fish count as a fat serving

2+ servings of non-starchy vegetables 

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. More is better – eat at least 5 servings a day. You can always increase the portion size of your non-starchy vegetables 

0 – 2 serving of high-fiber SLOW LOW carbs

  • Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked beans or rice, 1/2 small sweet potato, 1 piece of fruit

That's it! Whether you're doing The Virgin Diet  or Sugar Impact Diet, the plate strategy remains the same.

Even with the healthiest foods, you're not going to receive all of those fabulous nutrients if you're not breaking them down well. I've found that people over 35 and/ or under a lot of stress benefit from taking digestive enzymes.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.