Anhe

Protein portions

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Hello everybody, I'm new in the forum, I have read several post on food portions and also I have the meal template. But I have troubles to estimate palm size protein portions, for example:

- Palm size portion is cooked? How much is the difference between a raw and a cooked portion? I'm used to ask my butcher for grams (oz) or kg (pounds) of meat -raw, of course :-)- and I usually follow recipes which call for raw meat weights, it will be good to know that following a recipe makes "X" palm sized portions.

- I use to eat meat with bone in, like chicken legs, wings, short ribs... How can I estimate how much of that raw food equals to a palm of cooked meat? (how many wings, how many ribs...?)

- Also I use to eat fresh fish like anchoives, mackerel... I really have no idea about how much grams of raw anchoives (including bone, head...) equals a palm size of cooked anchoive meat.

- Same problem with ground meat. Frequently I cook things like chilli or meat with veggies and sauce, it would be much much easier for me if I can go to my butcher and buy "X" grams of ground meat knowing that I have "Y" portions of protein, so no matter how many veggies I add, there will be those same portions of protein once everything is cooked together, so freezing in portions would be easy.

Hope this isn't weird, I just want to find the way to make it easier for me.

Excuse my English if not correct, it isn't my mother tongue.

 

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Take a deep breathe, and a step back. It sounds like you're starting to overthink this, when it really doesn't have to be quite so difficult :), so let's take a minute to just push away the panic before it has a chance to set in...

Now then, moving on.

"Palm size" is just however much meat is about the size of your palm (including thickness). For me, a palm-sized portion is generally about 4-6 ounces. When making burgers, I usually weigh out 4 ounces and make each burger the same size so they'll cook evenly (occasionally I'll do 6-ounce ones); I will almost always eat 2 if they're smaller, but usually only 1 of the larger ones. You just kind of come to be familiar with what seems right, especially based on what your stomach tells you.

For bone-in, you're looking for the estimated amount of meat, so just look at the wings, thighs, whatever and see what looks like it would amount to about palm-sized. Also remember that you don't have to stuff yourself just because the template says you should eat more of X, just try to keep things balanced and go from there.

With ground meat, especially if you're wanting to pre-portion for saving leftovers, you might want to try meatballs or patties. That way you can weigh out each piece, which will be the same size and cook at the same rate, and give you a firm idea of how far your recipes will go AND how many is your typical protein portion. Added benefit on that is that meatballs and patties both freeze very well before being cooked, too, so you could easily prep ahead of time if you've got some days you know will be crazy.

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1 to 2 palm-sized portions is quite a broad range imho.

If you are in doubt, buy as much as you usually would. Then, as you serve it on your plate, compare it to your palm.
Is it at least as large as your palm, but not more than twice your palm? You are ok. 
Served too much? Remove a bit and save the leftovers for later. (Leftovers are great for breakfast.)
Served too little? Grab some tinned fish or boil and egg, and make sure you get enough protein.

Once you have tested it you'll have your own reference of how much a portion should be.
My own reference is about 150g - 200g of boneless meat, about the double if it has some bone, and for fresh fish (whole pieces) I buy at least half kg for two people.

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7 hours ago, Jihanna said:

 

Thanks Jihanna! Maybe I'm overthinking! Quite probably.

Anyway, it would be easier for me if I go shopping knowing that I buy 500 kg raw ground meat being X portions of cooked food.

I usually don't do meatballs etc. for convenience, it is easier for me to cook ground meat and adding whatever kind of sauce and veggies I need for that recipe. I suppose that I'd have to make some burgers or something to estimate palm size and then calculating how many grams of raw meat it was.

Thank you!

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18 minutes ago, Amura said:

 

Thank you Amura!

Yeah, I suppose I have to make calculations!

I usually by 3/4 kg anchoives for 3 people, so like you. And other fish depending on size, for instance, (I see you're in Spain so I suppose you'll understand the names) "gallitos de ración" at least 2 for each people (if they are very very small, 3), "chicharro" one big for each people, etc. No idea about how many palms they are.

150-200 per person sounds like what I usually do.

Many thanks!

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I have made a chicken salad using boiled chicken breast, I just discovered that raw breast is much more big than boiled, half a chicken breast boiled is quite smaller than my palm, I have always thought that half a chicken breast was enough (and big) portion for a meal. I boiled 4 half (2 whole breast from 2 whole small chickens), weighting around 700 grams raw (around 500 boiled), so each half was around 175 grams, I have always thought that was a big portion. I feel a little messed.

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Don't overthink it - or else you'll make it unnecesarily complicated.
Again, the template is a just reference and it's a quite broad one.

Half a chicken breast is definetely enough for most people - I'm sure it is for me.
Does it feel enough for you? Then it's fine.

It seems that you cook in a similar way to me (yay for Spaniard culture :) ) so you're probably having large enough protein rations.
Make sure you include protein in all your meals in the same amount (breakfast, I'm looking at you), that you fill your plate with nutrient-dense veggies (large portions of veggies have been a game changer for me!) and don't forget water and fat so your bowel works efficiently.

Whole30 does not have to be complicated, you are not supposed to measure and weight every bit of food you eat.
Just make good food choices!

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11 hours ago, Amura said:

 

Many thanks for answering! So is it ok to eat less than palm of protein? I thought it was the very minimum.

I have been eating low carb for years, so I use to eat veggies with my meals, and I have been eating keto too (clean) so no used to eat starchy veggies. I have tried to up my protein ratio before, but I am hungry little later, I need lot of fat to not being hungry, or starches (but afraid of them yet since I have being not eating them for long time). I'm trying to find a way to eat something in te morning, but it's very difficult since I have not eaten breakfast since.... I can't remember!!

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Yes, it's the minimum according to the Whole30 template.

But I would not compare raw weight to cooked weight.
It's ok to get your reference (for shopping purposes) but that's it. One of the appeals of Whole30 is that you don't need to count calories or weight portions, it's a more intuitive approach. (Cutting on so many products is already complicated enough!)

If I were you, I would work on the breakfast issue, because you should be eating right after waking up.
I think there are other threads on this subject, I suggest you to search the forum, you will find useful advice.

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I understand that template calls for palm size portions of cooked (not raw) meat, isn't it?

Yes, the breakfast issue is hard one... So many years no eating eat makes very difficult to feel any wish to eat in the morning. I'm trying to find info/articles to read, like breakfast & hormones, to get me motivated to eat it.

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I'm also curious about this topic, when I'm cooking a chicken breast, or turkey burger I can pretty easily eyeball how much protein I'll need. But with making stir frys or large batches of stuff with everything mixed together, how do you know how much meat to have? For instance, tonight I;m making spaghetti squash with a ground turkey red sauce w/ veggies for dinner, since everything will be mixed together in the sauce how do I know how much to eat for protein?

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1 hour ago, DanPrudden said:

I'm also curious about this topic, when I'm cooking a chicken breast, or turkey burger I can pretty easily eyeball how much protein I'll need. But with making stir frys or large batches of stuff with everything mixed together, how do you know how much meat to have? For instance, tonight I;m making spaghetti squash with a ground turkey red sauce w/ veggies for dinner, since everything will be mixed together in the sauce how do I know how much to eat for protein?

One way would be to think about the total amount of meat you put in the sauce, and how many servings that would make on its own. So say you bought a one-pound package of ground turkey to put in the sauce. If you'd bought a one-pound package of turkey and divided it into patties, how many patties would you get? That's how many servings of sauce you'll get from the same amount of meat. That amount will be different for everyone -- most people probably get 3-4 servings (quarter or third pound burger patties, or roughly 4-6 oz each) but some may only get two (half pound or 8 oz burgers).

Your servings still may not divide up exactly evenly as you dish out portions, but it should be close.  

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