What are best Portion sizes for strength training and weight loss? 

You’re doing great with your healthy eating! You’ve cut out sugary drinks, added more fruits and veggies, and you’re feeling awesome about your healthier lifestyle.

But when dinner time comes, those carefully planned portions turn into two or three plates of food. We’ve all been there.

Ever wondered how the right portion sizes for strength training and weight loss could make a difference?

Let’s look at how important it is to get your portion sizes right for both building muscle and losing weight.

Especially if you’re just starting out.

Getting your portions right is key to reaching your fitness goals more easily.

Understanding Portion sizes for strength training and weight loss 

Lady eating healthy food with measuring tape on the side

Let’s start by clarifying what we mean by portion sizes. 

A portion size is simply the amount of food you choose to eat at a meal or snack. Serving size, on the other hand, is the recommended amount of food listed on nutrition labels.

The goal is to align your portion sizes for strength training and weight loss with these recommended servings to keep your calorie intake in check. 

Portion Sizes for Weight Loss and Strength Training 

It’s simple: if you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume, creating a calorie deficit. 

But how do you know how many calories to eat? 

Here’s the key: to lose weight while building muscle through strength training, you need to create a moderate calorie deficit while also consuming enough protein to support muscle growth.

This is where portion sizes for strength training and weight loss become crucial. 

Enter Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE).

Your TDEE represents the total number of calories your body burns in a day, taking into account your basal metabolic rate (the calories you burn at rest), physical activity level (including strength training), and any additional energy expended through activities like exercise. 

  • Calculating your TDEE can give you a an estimate of how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
  • Once you have this number, you can create a moderate calorie deficit for weight loss while still providing enough energy for your strength training workouts.
  • This deficit prompts your body to tap into its fat stores for energy, leading to weight loss over time, while the protein intake helps build muscle. 

There are many online calculators available to help you estimate your TDEE based on factors like age, gender, weight, height, and activity level.

However, keep in mind that these calculations are just estimates, and individual variations may apply.

It may take some trial and error to find the portion sizes for strength training and weight loss that work best for you and support your goals. 

Here’s a simple, sample meal plan to get you started, with portion sizes for strength training and weight loss in mind: 

Breakfast: 

Upma

Upma: 1 cup cooked (portion size: 1 cup cooked) 1 medium banana: (portion size: 1 banana) 1 tablespoon of almond butter: (portion size: 1 tbsp) 

This breakfast provides a good balance of complex carbs for energy, protein for muscle building, and healthy fats for satiety. 

Lunch: 

Chickpea Salad

Chickpea Salad: Mixed with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice (portion size: 1 cup of salad) Whole Wheat Chapati (Roti): 1 medium-sized chapati (portion size: 1 chapati) Rajma (Kidney Beans): Cooked with spices like cumin, coriander, and turmeric (portion size: 1/2 cup cooked) 

This lunch is packed with protein from the chickpeas and fiber from the vegetables and whole wheat chapati, keeping you feeling full and energized for your workout. 

Dinner: 

Palak Paneer with rice

Palak Paneer (Spinach and Cottage Cheese): 1 serving (portion size: 1 cup) Brown Rice: 1/2 cup cooked (portion size: 1/2 cup cooked) Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry: With bell peppers, carrots, and peas (portion size: 1 cup) 

This dinner provides a good source of lean protein from the paneer, complex carbs from the brown rice, and essential vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. 

Snack: 

Greek Yoghurt

Greek Yogurt: 1 cup (portion size: 1 cup) Mixed Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries (portion size: 1/2 cup) 

Roasted Chana: Handfull of roasted chana will help you in keeping full with giving the proteins to your muscles.

This snack offers protein for muscle recovery and healthy carbohydrates for sustained energy. 

Practical Strategies for Portion Control

Two hands of a lady

Now that you understand the theory behind portion control, let’s get practical.

Managing portion sizes for strength training and weight loss isn’t about depriving yourself.

It’s about making SMART choices that satisfy your hunger while keeping your calorie intake in check.

Here are some tried-and-true strategies to help you master portion control like a pro: 

  • Downsize your dishes: Swap out those oversized plates for smaller ones to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more. 
  • Divide and conquer: Pre-portion your meals and snacks to avoid mindless munching straight from the bag or container. This is especially helpful for portion sizes for strength training and weight loss because you can ensure you’re getting the right balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats throughout the day. 
  • Use visual cues: Your hand can be a handy guide for portion sizes—think a palm-sized portion for protein, a fist for veggies, a cupped hand for carbs, and a thumb for fats.
  • Mindful munching: Slow down and savor your food. Eating slowly gives your brain time to register when you’re full, preventing overeating. This is important for portion sizes for strength training and weight loss because it allows you to listen to your body’s hunger cues and avoid consuming unnecessary calories. 
Avoid using food as a reward: I've experienced it myself—whether working all day or juggling school and college, there's often a craving for something quick and satisfying. It's tempting to reach for unhealthy or junk food in these moments. However, being mindful and disciplined for a period of time can make a significant difference in achieving your dream physique. Remember, the temporary satisfaction of an unhealthy treat won't align with your long-term goals.

Conclusion 

By understanding the difference between portion and serving sizes, adjusting your portion sizes for strength training and weight loss to meet your calorie goals, and implementing practical strategies for portion control, you’re well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself—it’s about finding the right balance that works for you. So go ahead, plate up with mindful portions, and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you! 

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