Diet advice is everywhere – in magazine, on the news, and given by your friends. It can get overwhelming. No wonder so many people are confused and so few people are actually losing weight.
To make things easier, here are six simple steps to jump-start your healthy eating diet plan:
- Balance Your Calories
Determine how many calories you need in order to lose or maintain weight. Balance your meals and snacks around this number in order to successfully reach your goals. Physical activity also helps to balance your calories so much sure to also incorporate exercise into your day.
- Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less
Take the time to fully enjoy your meals and snacks. Eating too fast often leads to overeating. It takes roughly 20 minutes for our stomach to tell our brains we are full. The faster we eat the more likely we are to miss this crucial signal and consume too many calories.
Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues before, during, and after meals. Use them to recognize when to eat and when you’re full.
- Avoid Oversized Portions
Use smaller plates, bowls, and glasses to cut down on calories. The bigger your dish the more you eat. So cut back on chinaware to cut back on pounds. While eating out, choose to downsize rather than super-size. Opt for kids’ size meals, sharing a dish, or have part of your meal boxed up to take home.
- Choose Whole Foods
Select whole fresh produce over boxed and packaged alternatives. The majority of food you put in your body should be food that would rot if left out on your counter top for a week or two.
- Make Half Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables
Use the MyPlate icon as a guide to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables offer the most amount of nutrients per calorie than any other foods. They are also low in calories and generally high in fiber, which helps to fill you up and keep you full.
Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli regularly. Fruit is also an excellent dessert, which is naturally sweet without any additional sugars or additives.
The Food Groups:
Fats, Oils and Sweets – use sparingly.
- Milk, Yogurt, Cheese – 2 to 3 servings.
- Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Nuts, Eggs – 2 to 3 servings.
- Vegetables – 3 to 5 servings.
- Fruits – 2 to 3 servings.
- Grains, Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta – 6 to 11 servings.
- Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is a significant part of a healthy diet. Increase hydration and cut down on calorie-laden drinks by swapping all of your beverages with water.
Citrus slices, such as lemon and orange, along with different herbs, like mint and lavender, are excellent ways to spice up water without the added caloric load.
Choosing to incorporate good foods at moderate portions and sticking with them is half the battle. Knowing your body and feeling good is the other half to a healthy diet plan.