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Dishing Up the Right Proportions in a Plant-Based Diet

Ideally, you should keep your plate proportionate. Try to maintain certain ratios of different plant-based foods so you get enough protein, carbohydrates, and fats to nourish you at every meal. Ideally, you want to feel like your meal will sustain you, which means having eaten enough food to feel energized and being able to wait two to three hours before eating your next meal.

At the end of the day (literally), you want to feel satisfied — because you ate from each food category and are nourished from the inside out. Just note that nobody else's definition of “feeling nourished” may align with yours, so really pay attention to what feels best for you and adjust accordingly.

The shows what your typical plate should look like. A majority of the plate is made up of vegetables because they are the mainstays of a plant-based diet. However, you want to choose the right balance of vegetables so you’ll be sustained and full after each meal.

[Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman]
Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman

Root vegetables and green leafies should make up most of your plate. From there grains, beans, and legumes will fill up the rest of your plate. If you can begin to mentally divide your plate at each meal to look like the one shown (more or less), then you are taking a large step toward success at a plant-based lifestyle.

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