• Hey guys, 

    So having a problem figuring out portions. I understand size of fist of palm, but lets say I am eating something like whole grain waffles and a turkey sausage link in the morning. How do I know how many waffles are the right amount? Or lets say the protein pancakes as well. These things I am having problems figuring out how much to eat. i guess I am asking what is the right amount of protein and carb to have in a meal?


  • I too have this same question.  Theidea of "the size ofyour fist" is really vague.  I would love it if one of the BFL experts could comment on what an exact portion size is.


  • I am a woman so I know that I am aiming for 20g of carbs and 20g of protein per low fat meal 6x a day.  I use that as my guideline.  So if I'm eating whole wheat waffles I look at the box and if they are 20g of carbs each I can have one but if they are 10g of carbs each I need to to get my carb portion.

    As far as meat I use a food scale and I know that 3 oz of meat = 20g of protein give or take so 3 oz of meat equals my protein portion, or 1 cup of cottage cheese, or 1 scoop of whey protein etc.  Once you know the grams you are aiming for per meal you can use the package nutritional information and a website like calorie king or fitday to figure out the right size.

    Also remember to keep all choice low fat/non fat.  Following the above guidelinees my calories tend to come in around 1500 per day.

    My understanding is that men aim for higher protein maybe 25-30g per meal though I'd double check that.

  • Thanks!

    So where would I go to get this information? I am a guy so I just want to check the info for that. Also is the 25-30g a minimum, maximum, or should just be equal?

    Thanks again

  • I've picked it up on this forum and other BFL forums.  There's a formula also that may be on the Hussman fitness site... its 1g protein per LB of Lean Body Mass. Let me look for it...  Okay, from Hussman Fitness:


    The core of the nutritional aspect of this program is to eat 6 limited, high quality meals a day. As Bill says, "A meal doesn't mean you have Mom lay out a napkin, and put a fancy plate of food out there. A meal simply means a portion of protein and a portion of carbohydrate. So a meal for me may mean a protein drink and a piece of fruit." If your goal is fat loss, remember: frequent, but limited (particularly in terms of refined carbohydrates).

    Bill's advice seems to target about 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fat (which is largely contained in the whole foods you eat, even "lean" meats). Since you'll be doing weight training, shoot for at least a gram of protein per pound of lean weight daily, regardless of your specific goal.



    Many people do quite well measuring their portions simply by the amount of protein or carbohydrate they could enclose inside of their two hands cupped together. If that doesn't work for you and you're counting calories, figure that a gram of protein is about 4 calories, so is a gram of carbohydrate. A gram of fat is about 9 calories. In general, you should target roughly equal amounts of protein and carbohydrate (about 40% of total daily calories from each). Fat should account for only about 20% of your total intake. For a person with a lean weight of 150 pounds aiming to eat 1800 calories a day for weight loss, this breaks down to 0.4 x 1800 / 4 = 180 grams daily of protein and carbohydrate, and about .2 x 1800 / 9 = 40 grams of fat. So if you're having 6 fuelings a day, each one would be about 30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrate, and just over 6 grams of fat. Read the nutritional labels, and avoid carbohydrates in the form of "sugars" as much as possible.  


    Right now I'm not finding the exact g of protein per meal for men BUT if you know your lean body mass thats a good place to start. Also if you're looking to pack on muscle I'd say 30g of protein 6x per day is reasonable if you're hitting the gym hard.

  • Also these are the nutrition facts:

    waffles (2):

    150 Cal

    26g of carbs

    4g Protein

    Sausage (1):

    140 Cal

    13g Protein

    3g Carbs

    So I'm thinking 2 waffles and one sausage like you said:

    190 Cal

    29g Carb

    17g Protein

  • Also found some threads here on BFL:



  • Another easy rule of thumb is target getting in 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.  In example I'm 165lbs, so for me that is 27.5 grams per each of my six meals.  I'm not the average sized female, I'm 5'8" tall.  So all of my meals average 25-25 carbs protein.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Another guideline that is alluded to in the BFL book is that Bill doesn't *really* approve of bread as a carb. He reluctantly approves it only if its whole grain so I'd look for bread products (that includes waffles) that are at least whole wheat.  I also eat those starchier carbs earlier in the day and my later meals use fibrous carbs like sweet potatoes that are much lower glycemic. Just another angle to consider.

    And for you I'd actually consider 2 sausages which would give you 30g protein at that meal.  And you should also check the fat on the sausages sausage tends to be fatty and BFL is supposed to be low fat...

  • Thanks to everyone for the response...one last question.

    Not to second guess a method that seems to work for a lot of people. Currently a am 5'9 285lbs. male Needless to say I am wanting to lose weight more then gain muscle at this moment (though both would be nice). It seems to me that it is a lot of food to eat (which is why I am so worried about doing it right). I am going to the gym in the morning, and I do know that what I am eating is healthy. Will I still lose weight if I continue to eat 25g of carbs and proteins in every meal? Or is it more for muscle building?

  • I lost 150lbs at that rate.  

    25g carbs and 25g protein is probably not enough for you to begin with,  If you cut too low you will force your body in to starvation mode and the losses will be minimal.  I would suggest you for your height and weight eat no less that 30-35 grams of both per serving.  

    Follow that and really push your workouts.  Make sure you have taken measurements and check your progress every two weeks.  

    This is not a starvation plan.  

    It's about learning how good food fuels your body.  You will know when you've hit the right food intake amounts when you start having hunger pangs 2.5-3 hours apart.  It will be like clockwork after the first couple of weeks.  

    Another thing I suggest is that if you want really good results, then stick with as many clean foods as you can from the original book and get your carbs from brown rice, sweet potato and red potato as opposed to the WW breads and pastas.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • Michelle said it all... I'll just tag on one more thought about the calories and the amount of food:

    If you cut your calories and portions too low now in the beginning what will you do later when you are smaller and still want to lose more?  I think its important to fine the highest level of cals you can eat and still lose. I can guarantee you'll lose on the 30-35g of each that Michelle recommends above.  When you drop a few pounds and are down to say 250 and maybe headed into your next challenge you'll have some room to lower your servings and calories without heading into deprivation/starvation area.

    Try the 30-35 g and see how it goes! Give it four to six weeks I bet it works like a charm. And choose your carbs carefully! That really does make a difference.

    This will work.

  • Great! Okay so to sum up what everyone said and to make sure I get it right. Right now I want to eat in the area of 30-35g of protein and carbs, watch the fat intake, and try to keep it around 1500 cal. WW products such as wheat bread, and pasta aren't good to have a lot. As I lose more weight I want to reduce the grams (high in the beginning to keep my body out of starvation mode).  Let me know if I am missing anything.

    Thanks everyone for the help, I will get started with this advice right away. I will let you guys know in four weeks my progress.

  • sweet potatoes are a starch, not a fibrous carb. Fibrous carbs are vegetables like asparagus.

  • I have shed 130 lbs doing BFL, so I do deem myself an expert on fat loss and portions, etc. Your first problem is that you are eating waffles. Even if "whole grain", it's not the best. Easiest rule of thumb, is if man made it, don't eat it. You need to be eating egg whites/whole egg with oatmeal, MUCH BETTER.

    You don't need a scale, just your eyes for portions. BFL is a high protein, low carb plan. So have a chicken *** and 1/2c cooked rice, beans etc. Most chicken breasts are 6-8 oz which is gonna give you at least 30-40g of protein. A 1/2 cup of beans, rice etc is gonna put you at 20g of carbs. 1/2c oats is 27g, 1 piece of fruit, 20-25g and of course the MRP's will keep you in the 20g range too.

    Carbs are just energy. You need a little bit to keep blood sugar stable and for ENERGY :) This is why BFL works so well. You get just enough, but no overkill, like a lot of people do on carbs. Carbs don't build muscle either so for those who think you need double carbs post workout, think again.

    If you are eating steak or ground meat like turkey, just eyeball it. The absolute worst thing anyone can do is over analyze the process.