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A serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand?

by (1510)
Updated October 30, 2014 at 3:13 AM
Created January 13, 2011 at 1:26 AM

Lately I've been wondering if maybe I eat too large of portions of meat. My portions are closer to 3 decks of cards, at two meals a day, and maybe 1 deck of salmon for breakfast. I usually eat my proteins over a bed of spinach or salad greens, with some olive oil.

Is the deck of card or the palm of your hand standard geared toward SAD, with the presumption of eating more carbs than anything else? What serving size of meat do other paleo folks eat?

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18701 · January 14, 2011 at 1:53 AM

In the right situation, I could binge on ANYTHING. It didn't matter how full my stomach was, my brain wasn't full.

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39841 · January 14, 2011 at 1:47 AM

I guess it's hard for me to put myself in the shoes of the food-addicted since I hate having to eat, but if I eat two huge steaks instead of one, it just means there's more time from that meal until the next one. Satiety has increased along with food intake. The same doesn't happen when increase one's candy intake. If you continue to apply candy-eating-logic to meat, I think you'll be going around in circles.

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7324 · January 14, 2011 at 1:10 AM

But you might not be able to lose weight if you eat tons of meat and fat.

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39841 · January 13, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Honestly, I don't think it's physically possible to become obese by eating meat, even conventionally-produced meat.

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1248 · January 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

"Small portions are from that whole red meat bad, saturated fat SAD nonsense." I agree 100% I eat at least a pound at a time also.

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5838 · January 13, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Stephen, What in this meal is the hormone booster, and which hormones? Thank!

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18671 · January 13, 2011 at 4:29 AM

Very well said.

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1510 · January 13, 2011 at 2:58 AM

Phew! Sometimes I feel almost guilty if I want a larger portion occasionally. Must be some SAD-based psychology that lingers in me.

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18701 · January 13, 2011 at 2:42 AM

Well, for my previously obese self, with an eating disordered past, my body/brain just don't know what "satiety" is. If I went by that I'd overeat and be back to obese in no time. Maybe someday it will be fixed, but for now, I count on counting.

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18701 · January 13, 2011 at 2:40 AM

+1 for excellent use of EGADS! :)

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39841 · January 13, 2011 at 1:59 AM

The lamb leg steaks I fry up are usually a pound. I find this to be a satisfying amount. To be honest, I'm sometimes tempted to have two. (Of course I eat the strip of fat around the outside and the marrow in the bone for good measure).

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22913 · January 13, 2011 at 1:46 AM

I'm totally digging my latest lunch, 12oz of shrimp sautéed in Kerrygold, with garlic, Ginger, Black pepper and several handfuls of Organic baby spinach. Sprinkle some cayenne in there... Delish and a great hormone booster!

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12 Answers

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22913 · January 13, 2011 at 1:43 AM

A deck o cards? A snack at best!!!

I eat 1 lb of meat sometimes more at dinner.

Veggies are a garnish.

I feel like superman.

Strong like bull.


Small portions are from that whole red meat bad, saturated fat SAD nonsense.

Eat as much as YOU personally feel comfortable and DESIRE to eat.

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18671 · January 13, 2011 at 4:29 AM

Very well said.

Medium avatar
39841 · January 13, 2011 at 1:59 AM

The lamb leg steaks I fry up are usually a pound. I find this to be a satisfying amount. To be honest, I'm sometimes tempted to have two. (Of course I eat the strip of fat around the outside and the marrow in the bone for good measure).

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1248 · January 13, 2011 at 6:34 PM

"Small portions are from that whole red meat bad, saturated fat SAD nonsense." I agree 100% I eat at least a pound at a time also.

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39841 · January 13, 2011 at 1:39 AM

I don't see any reason why you would restrict consumption of high-quality meats. Let satiety be the judge.

Medium avatar
39841 · January 13, 2011 at 6:55 PM

Honestly, I don't think it's physically possible to become obese by eating meat, even conventionally-produced meat.

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7324 · January 14, 2011 at 1:10 AM

But you might not be able to lose weight if you eat tons of meat and fat.

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18701 · January 13, 2011 at 2:42 AM

Well, for my previously obese self, with an eating disordered past, my body/brain just don't know what "satiety" is. If I went by that I'd overeat and be back to obese in no time. Maybe someday it will be fixed, but for now, I count on counting.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · January 14, 2011 at 1:53 AM

In the right situation, I could binge on ANYTHING. It didn't matter how full my stomach was, my brain wasn't full.

Medium avatar
39841 · January 14, 2011 at 1:47 AM

I guess it's hard for me to put myself in the shoes of the food-addicted since I hate having to eat, but if I eat two huge steaks instead of one, it just means there's more time from that meal until the next one. Satiety has increased along with food intake. The same doesn't happen when increase one's candy intake. If you continue to apply candy-eating-logic to meat, I think you'll be going around in circles.

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10768 · January 14, 2011 at 12:47 AM

Have you ever seen those huge decks of tarot cards? I'm ok with that.

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12174 · January 13, 2011 at 2:37 AM

I've heard that traditional deck of cards protein recommendation as a DAILY serving. Egads! I'd never be a successful paleo eater on that; I wouldn't feel full enough stretching that deck over a day.

As an example, today I had eggs and bacon for lunch (no breakfast), and for dinner's protein a very hefty Porterhouse steak.

Best part? It's four hours later, I swam in the time since dinner, and I don't feel hungry at all. In my prepaleo/preprimal days I would have had a carby dinner, done 60 minutes of hard cardio, and come home feeling ravenous (aka "carby stabby hunger") because of my blood sugar plunge.

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18701 · January 13, 2011 at 2:40 AM

+1 for excellent use of EGADS! :)

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503 · January 14, 2011 at 2:13 AM

I got hung up on the portion thing at the start too. I tried using books like The Paleo Solution that has recipes as a guide. The recipe may say "serves 4" but I'm not sure how that's valid since you are supposed to eat until full instead of relying on some preconceived notion as to what a serving entails. Eventually I just started eating as much as I wanted without care and I've still lost 7 pounds in 3 weeks when I didn't need to lose any.

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned from switching to Paleo so far is that food is meant to be enjoyed, it's good for you and is not an enemy. Eat the right foods and your body will know what to do with it. After meticulously watching my diet for a good part of my adult life, this was a pretty liberating realization.

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15976 · January 13, 2011 at 2:46 AM

If you're comfy and happy with that amount,great! Most of us are prolly north of there but that doesn't matter. Me? I'm more in the 8-12 oz at least twice per day. Sometimes far north depending on the meal, cut, etc.

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1510 · January 13, 2011 at 2:58 AM

Phew! Sometimes I feel almost guilty if I want a larger portion occasionally. Must be some SAD-based psychology that lingers in me.

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1288 · January 13, 2011 at 2:14 AM

That analogy come from Dr Rosedale and his adapted version of Paleo. He thinks that too much protein is not that great for you - he talkes about having more green veg and such. In the end its up to you - what makes you feel better - some prefer to have more veg than meat in diet - and many here seem to just eat meat and makes up for 80% of food. Experiment and you will know.

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18701 · January 13, 2011 at 1:29 AM

I still go by the deck of cards description, which is usually 3-4 oz of meat. I usually have 1 portion for breakfast, 1 portion for lunch and 1.5 to 2 for dinner.

This usually works out to between 75-100 grams of protein per day.

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70 · January 14, 2011 at 1:08 AM

I still adhere to the balanced ratio philosophy of the diet, somewhere around 30% protein 30% fat% 40% carbs. If the deck of cards meat portion is consistent with that including, say for example, also a serving of almonds and mixed veggies, then that's a pretty small meal. I know I'd be eating alot more food than that. For some people who are smaller, that might work, or if you want to add more nuts and veggies as filler, I see no evidence of that hurting either. But if you're bigger, or looking for more lean muscle gains, obviously that won't cut it.

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323 · January 13, 2011 at 7:10 PM

I think the deck of cards/palm of your hand measuring is for those who are doing a more Zone styled diet, where you get a certain percentage of carbs/protein/fat. I take that as a good rule of thumb, as I try to have that portion, with lots of veggies, and avocado or almonds for fat

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5838 · January 13, 2011 at 5:45 PM

I certainly eat more than that. I often find myself eating one lb grass fed beef for lunch, and again for dinner. Some Sardines thrown in on occasion as well.

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3891 · January 13, 2011 at 5:21 PM

I go by satiety, not by an artificially defined limit.

There are days when I can eat a pound of steak in one sitting along with a salad and veggies. Then, there are days when I'm not that hungry and smaller portions work fine. It all depends if I've recently done IF or if a workout is involved, or both.

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