To start, learn about some of the worst food offenders and how to replace them with healthier choices. Then try some portion-control tricks.
Most of our calories come from foods high in fat and sugar. Sweets like cookies and cakes, along with yeast breads, top the list. We also load up on calories in chicken dishes (often breaded and fried), sodas, and energy and sports drinks. Pizza, alcohol, pasta, tortilla dishes, and beef dishes pile on more calories. Fruits and vegetables don’t even make a dent in our daily calorie count.
Add more nutritious foods to your diet. Instead of fatty meats, choose lean protein and seafood. Shoot for at least 8 ounces of fish a week.
Instead of solid fats like butter or margarine, use olive, canola, and other oils that are good for your waistline and your heart.
Instead of baked goods and cereals with all white or refined grains, make at least half of your grains whole grains.
Other healthy choices: nonfat or low-fat dairy foods, eggs, beans, and, of course, fruits and vegetables.
Super-sized meals have inflated portion sizes, and they inflate us right along with them. Start downsizing to healthy portions and your body will, too. Learn to “eyeball” your food to gauge what’s too much—and what’s just right.
You may have grown up being told to “clean your plate.” The problem is that dinner plates in homes —and especially at restaurants—have steadily gotten bigger. So has the amount of food we put on them. If you clean your plate now, you’re probably overeating.
Don’t go back for seconds or keep platters of food on the table to tempt you. Store leftovers in single-serving containers for other quick meals.
You don’t need to weigh or measure out your food every time you sit down to eat. Instead, keep a mental image of a deck of cards, a poker chip, a baseball and a light bulb. This makes it easy for you eyeball healthy portion sizes. Or use the your hand as an example like in the diagram above.
1 portion of meat or fish = a deck of cards or the palm of your hand
1 serving of fruits or veggies = 1 baseball or a fist
1 serving of leafy greens = 2 tennis balls
2 portions of cooked rice = a light bulb
1 portion of fat = a poker chip, a stack of four dimes, or a thumb tip. That’s 1 teaspoon, or 1 serving, of fats and oils.
Genetix Program’s team of doctors, certified coaches/trainers and nutritionists can help you make healthier lifestyle choices through daily phone coaching to achieve lasting weight loss. You can do it and we can help!