Dr. Norris J. Chumley Satisfied Life

On this the 20th Day of the Give-Back Diet, you may be asking yourself about food: how much to eat, what is normal, and when to eat?  So far, we’ve been doing things a bit differently; defining what you CAN eat on a healthful diet, not what you cannot.  We’ve immediately begun to count and analyze your eating habits and made connections with emotions and food behaviors.  Hopefully you’re becoming aware of your relationship with food, emotions and actual eating patterns.  Hopefully you’ve already begun to eat fresh foods, whole grains, vegetables, and limit sugar or even get sugar free.

We’ve talked about how to control the sugar habits.  We’ve discussed food combining.  I’ve encouraged you to eat every 2-3 hours, never allowing yourself to get overly hungry by feeding your body throughout the day. Now, today, let’s talk a bit about portion sizes.

If you’ve read my book, The Joy of Weight Loss, you’re aware of my use of the U.S.D.A. Food Guide Pyramid as a baseline of what amount and types of food you may choose to eat.  While it’s not perfect, it is a beginning.  I encourage you to also check out the newer version, which also offers you a way to make your own individual food plan.  It’s at

I also have devised a really basic way to know what portion sizes are.  Here it is in your daily…


— How much protein is a serving?  Use your hand as a guide.  A palm-size portion of protein from meat or fish is approximately one serving.  A small handful of nuts, or cooked beans is a serving of protein.  How many servings a day?  Each person is different.  The U.S.D.A. recommends specifics at their website, Start there.  HOWEVER:  know that it’s excess protein that is one of the factors in obesity and overweight.  We actually need very little of it each day.  Too much, and we’ll gain weight.

— How much dairy is a serving?  Use the “rule of thumb.”  A slice of natural cheese the size of your thumb is approximately one-serving.  Two slices of “processed” cheese is approximately one-serving.  Like protein, we need very little dairy each day, and it’s easy to eat too much – way too much, and gain weight. Too little and we may need to take calcium supplements.  But that’s up to you and your doctor or healthcare professional to decide together.  Again, checkout

— Vegetables?  I say eat as many as you like, and the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid agrees.
 The U.S.D.A. is a little more specific, from 1-3 cups a day, check it out.

— Fruits?  I have 2-3 servings of fruit a day, but you may be different, especially if you’re diabetic.  Consult your doctor or healthcare provider, of course, as always.  A serving is “one” of a fruit.  One apple.  One orange or pear.  One banana.  The U.S.D.A. says 1 ½ to 2 cups a day, depending on sex, physical activity and age.  Take a look at their chart at

—  Last but not least (or perhaps they should be) are carbohydrates.  These days, I’m recommending you eat very few servings of grains and carbs.  Also, I don’t eat them with protein (see my post about food combining LINK***).  When I do have them, I make sure it’s very little (only one serving at a time, which varies highly with each item), and always whole-grain.  One serving could be one slice of whole wheat bread, or 10 whole-grain crackers.  Again, the size of your hand is a general rule.

— In addition to your daily 20 minutes of moving, limiting sugar, prayer and keeping a journal – take 10 minutes and make a Food Plan for yourself.  Plan your meals for today.  Take into account what you’ve learned, and be sure to Give-Back your plan to everyone in our online community BY POSTING A COMMENT below.  Take a look at other’s food plan’s too.  Let’s help one another.

See you tomorrow!

IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME READING “THE GIVE-BACK DIET” START TODAY!  Here’s a list of every day so far, in this 8-week program.

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