Improving what, and how much, we eat doesn’t have to be a difficult and confusing process! In fact, it can be a fun challenge.
Here are five simple tips to help you start the process:
1. Portion: Avoid portions that are too big. We eat with our eyes before our mouths. So, your meal has to look satisfying. Use a standard 8” or 9” plate. (Leave the huge 12” plate in the cabinet.) If you are truly hungry after eating that amount and taking a little break, you can go back for more food, but this will stop you from cleaning a big plate just because the food is there.
2. Types: Learn the types of food that are good for you so that you can eat a balanced healthy diet: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein.
3. Variety: Each time you serve yourself a plate of food or order a meal, try to think of your plate as four equal parts. Imagine one line dividing the plate down the middle and one line running across the plate from side-to-side. These sections should be made up of different types of food:
Fruits and vegetables: Like apples, tomatoes, and broccoli are good for you and they don’t have too many calories in each portion. They should take two sections equal to about half of the plate. Aim for a variety of colors on this section of your plate.
Whole grains: You can check the label on things like breads, rice, and pasta to see if they are made from “whole grain.”
Protein: We know meat and chicken count as protein, but have more variety of protein. Try having beans, fish or seafood in the protein section of your plate. A delicious grain such as quinoa can also add protein to your meal
4. Your drink: Try to think of your beverage as an accessory, not a main player. If you drink milk, try switching to skimmed (fat free) or 1% milk for the same amount calcium, but with less fat and calories. If you are drinking soda or another sugary drink, try switching to water, soda water (seltzer), or unsweetened tea.
5. More tips: Check out www.ChooseMyPlate.gov for more tips and information
Photo Credit: http://www.schoolhealth.com/