You want to eat healthier to improve your life quality, but there are so many options out there! I searched for years to find a balanced nutrition plan that worked for me.
There are the old nutrition plans like the Food Pyramid and the more recent MyPlate that that tells you a specific number or percentage of your food to eat from different food groups and is the same for everyone. These plans aren’t really individualized to specific needs.
There are plans where you count your calories based on your current weight and how much you want to weigh. But who wants to count calories or track down the nutritional info for everything you eat?
Then there are the fad diets- it seems like every week there is a new diet that promises amazing results but usually require strict observance of a limited diet. Sometimes essential nutritional elements are missing, making the diet unsustainable in the long term.
In the midst of the confusion and flood of choices, I settled on a container diet that allows me to eat a balanced variety of foods from all the main food groups without counting calories. Another name for this nutrition plan is Portion Fix or Ultimate Portion Fix.
So what is a container diet? or What is the portion fix eating plan?
Nutritional Guide Individualized to YOU
Portion fix, AKA the container diet, is a breakdown of how many foods in specific groups you should be eating on a daily basis to properly fuel your body while helping you lose weight. Each food group has a specific sized container for portion control.
There are 5 different nutritional plans available. You determine which plan best fits your individual needs using the following formula:
Step 1: Your weight X 11 = your calorie baseline
Step 2: Your Calorie baseline + 400 = calories needed to maintain your current weight
Step 3: Number from step 2 – 750 = Your Target calories.
Find your target calories on the grid to find how many of each container you should be eating. Use the total from Step 2 if you want to maintain your weight. Use the total from Step 3 if you want to lose weight.
As your weight changes you will want to recalculate your nutrition plan to make sure you remain on track. This nutrition plan is meant to be a sustainable diet that you can use for the rest of your life.
Containers & Colors
While you determine your nutrition plan based on your target calories, you are not going to count calories. You are going to count the number of portions (or containers) for each food group that you eat.
Since not all foods are created equal, each group has an assigned, colored container to determine proper serving size for that food group. By eating the right number of each color, you are getting the right balance of nutrition that your body needs.
Here is the breakdown by container color:
- Green container = veggies
- Purple container = fruits
- Red container = proteins.
- Yellow container = carbs
- blue container = healthy fats
- orange container = seeds/dressings
- Tablespoon = oils & nut butters
Fruits and veggies are the largest containers. Proteins are second largest, followed by carbs, then healthy fats, then seeds and dressings. Oils and nut butters do no have a container, you measure those with a tablespoon.
To get the correct amounts of each group, simply fill the colored container to the top so that you can still close the lid. That is one serving. Eating the correct number of each container helps you ensure you are getting the correct proportions of necessary nutrients for your body.
Tips on using the Container Diet
After determining the number of each container you should be eating in a day, you will plan out your meals for each day. It is recommended that you spread your food out over 5-6 smaller meals each day. Typically, breakfast, lunch, dinner and two to three snacks every day.
Planning out your meals ahead of time helps ensure you get all of your food groups in the right amount. You want to eat the correct amounts of each colored container without going over.
Each color has a large list of foods within that category. The foods higher up on the list have more nutritional value while the foods towards the bottom have less value.
Some foods on the list will have a unique amount or count. For example, a half a large banana is a serving size. 10 medium baby carrots is a serving size. When a specific amount is given, use that instead of filling the colored container.
Substitutions are available so you can enjoy an occasional drink (wine or beer) or to satisfy a sweet tooth. There are also “free foods”. Free foods include lemon & line juice, mustard, fresh herbs, ginger, garlic, green onions and chilies.
Containers can be broken into 1/2 or 1/3 or 1/4 if you are not using an entire container at one time. Just keep track so you can eat the rest of the container later in the day.
While the goal is to get ALL containers eaten in a day, it is OK to not get one or two eaten as long as you are consistently getting the correct amounts.
While I am not typically hungry after eating all my containers for the day, should you find that you are still hungry, try eating an additional serving of veggies and/or proteins to tide you over. Try to steer away from eating extra containers of fruits, carbs or fats.
Sample Meal Plans
Meals are created by combining multiple colors and containers to quantify the food you want to eat into the correct categories to ensure a balanced diet. When a food is made up of multiple ingredients, measure the individual ingredients.
- 2 yellow containers of cooked pasta
- 1 red container of cooked ground beef or turkey or meatballs
- 1/2 purple container of marinara sauce
- 1 green container of salad greens
- 1 green container of chopped veggies (tomato, cucumber, carrots, etc)
- 1 red container chopped chicken (cooked)
- 1 orange container sunflower seeds & walnut slices
- 1 tablespoon raspberry vinaigrette
If you are eating a food that is already prepared, or you are unsure of how to calculate, use your best judgement. The guide to the Portion Fix lists breakdowns of some popular restaurant food to help you. Here are a few examples.
Where to get the containers
I stumbled across the Portion Fix Container Diet on Beachbody On Demand. On Demand has all the resources you need to successfully follow this nutrition plan, along with workout videos you can do from home. For the workouts and nutritional guides, check out my review of Beachbody On Demand here.
If you are just looking for the containers, you can purchase the Portion Fix containers here.
I will be doing a free “Clean Week Challenge” Facebook group using the Portion Fix Container Diet, including additional resources. The Clean Week Challenge will be from June 8, 2019, to June 15, 2019, with more clean week challenges in the coming months. You can follow the my Facebook Page here, then ask to join the Challenge when I announce it a few days before!
Do you have any questions on the Portion Fix Container Diet? Have you tried it before? or tried another nutritional plan that you love? Let me know in the comments below!