Fit Tip: The Perfectly Portioned Plate

It’s OK to indulge a little around the holidays. I certainly won’t deny myself a slice of pumpkin pie (or two!). But unless you’re looking to gain 10 pounds in a single holiday weekend, practicing portion control is still key during this time of year. In my opinion, no one should be counting calories at a holiday dinner—that takes all the fun out of it. But, if you keep this little trick in mind you won’t have to. Here’s how to build the perfectly portioned plate…

  • ½ Vegetables. First, load up on enough healthy greens or veggies so that they take up half of your plate. Salads, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and squash are a few of my favorites. But keep in mind that too much dressing or butter can turn these healthy sides unhealthy.
  • ¼ Protein. Devote one quarter of your plate to a protein like turkey or ham. A 3-ounce serving of turkey is about the size of your fist or a deck of cards.
  • ¼ Starches. The remaining fourth of your plate can be made up of starches. This includes stuffing, rolls, and starchy vegetables like yams, mashed potatoes, and corn.

This is definitely a good template to follow during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas, but it also applies year-round. If you’re really watching your waistline, stick to drinking water and a single glass of wine or a low-calorie cocktail during dinner. Soda should be off limits. Also, fill up your plate with a proper amount of food the first time in order to avoid going back for seconds. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll still have room for that slice of pumpkin pie!

How do you stay slim during the holidays?

Let me know in the comments.

XO Lauren

Photo: Anthropologie
Categories: Get Fit, Lauren Conrad
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  • oceangirl25

    Thanks! This will help me to stay healthy during the holidays!

  • Ashley Rizzardo

    Great tip! I will keep this in mind when I’m loading up my plate this week!


  • Mandy J

    So good to keep in mind…especially this week!

  • simply sabrina

    Definitely going to try to stick to this over the holidays! Great recommendation!

    It’s my blog’s anniversary and i’m hosting a $50 Macy’s giveaway. I’d love for you to enter, check it out here!

  • simply sabrina

    I’m definately going to try to stick to this over the holidays! Great recommendations!

    It’s my blog’s anniversary and i’m hosting a $50 Macy’s giveaway. I’d love for you to enter, check it out

  • Kae-t

    Awesome idea with the plate! I do all these as well!
    I also, eat very slowly so I know when I’m full. Then I wait till I’m not, then continue eating off my plate instead of going for seconds.

  • Katelin Absher

    During the holidays I basically find that eating to fulfill my craving of holiday goodies helps me rather than skipping them because I end up eating everything else and gaining. This allowed me to loose 50 lbs within a year just by eating better yes but also fulfilling that craving! Great Plate tip though!! Definitely helpful!

  • Shira Rosenbluth

    I actually think having more protein than that is totally fine!

  • Jackelin

    I always intend to follow “”perfectly portion”” plate but somehow end up forgetting about the “”lines””! We’ll see how it goes this year

  • Madison B

    i’m very healthy and i actually need to gain weight and muscle, but this diagram is really helpful, even for all year round!

  • samm k
  • Whitney @ To live & diet in L.a.

    My trick on Thanksgiving is to fill up on white meat turkey and roasted veggies and then just eat one bite of all of my other “”naughty”” favorites. I’ll also take a walk after dinner and treat it like any other day of the year. Going overboard at holiday meals is never a good idea.

    Just SAY NO to seconds!

    And to completely avoid eating crap, make your own tasty dishes. Here’s one I’ll be eating:

    xo – Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A.

  • Trista Noel

    This is a good idea because it is hard to not indulge. I make sure I drink alot of water and that helps me.

  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    This is a great idea and a great reminder. I definitely tend to over eat on the holidays!!


  • nicole Smith

    This is such a helpful tip.

  • Ashley

    Definitely worth reminding everyone just in time for the fast approaching holidays!

  • BRy

    Future dietitian approved!

  • missbeautyguru

    Great tip! Thanks x

  • Sina pfupajena

    This is a lifestyleeee

  • Sina pfupajena

    This is a lifestyle!

  • Jessica

    Good tips! I do a Turkey Trot run on Thanksgiving morning so I still get a workout in on the holiday.

  • katie at Miss enchanting

    Great tip…easy to remember and keep in mind! It’s so easy to overload in all the bad stuff just because it’s the festive season…!

    Katie x

  • Melinda w.

    Good tip! I’m also working on keeping the holiday weight off. Here’s a few more tips I’ve been working on which I’ve posted on my blog, Posh Purpose.


  • Mackenzie furlong

    I’m going try this tip out and see it works. 😀


    That’s great :-)

  • jeannette

    I amp up my workout routine by working out longer and having one off day.

  • Tereza

    I definitely that half (or more) of your dish should be veggies, very good practice to follow

  • Alexie

    I did this starting in January and I already lost 9 pounds

  • District & More

    I love making healthy soup in the winter. Here are some of my favorite recipes.

    Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

    Potato Leek Soup

    Creamy Tomato Soup

    Carrot Ginger Soup

  • Natasja

    I’m slowly (very slowly) but surely trying to change my eating-ways to this.. I just love my carbs.. pasta and potatoes are so yummy that I want so much of it.. sigh. And I only eat chicken (at times duck) or fish… so I always feel OK taking some extra proteins haha. But I really need to add more veggies.. sigh. Anyone got good suggestions to help speed up my transformation… but in a way that I won’t lose my love for food? (euhm, yeah.. that is why it goes so slowly.. obviously I could just force myself, but I want to enjoy the vegetables and be happy making it the biggest portion of my meal).

  • Fatima Shafique

    loved it ..hope to start soon

  • AllRightInCA

    Almost that time of year again to start thinking about a holiday fitness strategy! I switched to using a salad plate instead of a big dinner plate. But the portion idea is also a good tactic to use all year round. You should also beware of vertical space on your plate. Having a serving of mashed potatoes that fits on 1/4 of your plate but towers over the rest of your food like Mt Fuji certainly won’t help you stay trim and fit! Joining Weight Watchers or another program involving group support before the traditional January 2nd is also a good way to keep fitness goals in mind as you munch your way through the season.



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