Reaching and maintaining a healthier weight contributes to your overall health and well-being. Losing even a few pounds or preventing further weight gain has health benefits.
March is National Nutrition Month, and here are a few healthy eating tips from Cathy Boland, PPh’s Director of Nutrition and Quality Assurance.
Set healthy, realistic goals. You are more likely to succeed in reaching realistic goals when you make changes step-by-step. Start with one or two specific, small changes at a time. Track your progress by keeping a food and activity log.
Eat at least three meals a day and plan your meals ahead of time. Whether you’re eating at home, packing a lunch or eating out, an overall eating plan for the day will help keep you on track.
Balance your plate with a variety of foods. Half your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables, about one fourth with lean meat, poultry or fish, and one fourth with grains. To round out your meal, add fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese.
Focus on your food. Pick one place to sit down and eat at home. Eating while doing other things may lead to eating more than you think. Also, switching from a large plate to a smaller one may help you feel satisfied with reduced portions.
Know when you’ve had enough to eat. Quit before you feel full or stuffed. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that your body is getting food. So, fast eaters—slow down and give your brain a chance to get the word.
Get plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Fiber can help you feel full longer and lower your risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Watch portion sizes to manage your calorie intake. This is the key to an effective weight management plan. To make sure your portion sizes are “just right,” visit the My Plate Food Groups Food Galleries website.
Snack smart. Include snacks as part of your daily calorie allowance and limit portions to one serving. Plan for nutritious snacks to prevent between-meal hunger. Keep portable, healthy snacks in your desk, backpack or car.
Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness—plus, it helps control body weight, promotes a feeling of well-being and reduces the risk of chronic diseases… Aim for a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes or more each week of moderate activity such as brisk walking.