Healthy meals are more vegetables and fruit with smaller portions of protein and grains. You must adjust your portions accordingly on your plate to get what you need without too many calories. Think about a split plate in thirds, it usually has one bigger section and two smaller sections – the larger portion of the plate should be where your fruit or vegetable goes and the smaller ones are for your proteins and grains.
Here are 10 tips to building a healthy meal:
1. Make half your plate vegetables and fruits – vegetables are full of nutrients and may help to promote good health. Choose red, orange, and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
2. Add lean protein – choose protein foods such as lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu. Twice a week make seafood the protein on your plate.
3. Include whole grains – aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber.
4. Don’t forget the dairy – pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk. They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk without the fats and calories. You can substitute milk for soymilk as your beverage or add a fat-free or low-fat yogurt with your meal.
5. Avoid extra fat – using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and calories to otherwise healthy choices. Steamed broccoli is great but avoid topping it off with cheese sauce instead use something like a small sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.
6. Take your time – savor your food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating quickly may cause you to eat too much or have a stomachache or heartburn.
7. Use a smaller plate – use a smaller plate at meals to help with portion control. That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.
8. Take control of your food – eat at home more often so you know exactly what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.
9. Try new foods – keep it interesting by picking out new foods you’ve never tried before like mango, lentils or kale. You may find a new favorite. Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends and find them online.
10. Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way – indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish – FRUIT!! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.
I hope these 10 tips help to building a healthy meal – by utilizing smaller portions and the right type of foods – you should be on your way to a lower calorie intake on a daily basis and weight management.
Do you need help with your healthy lifestyle design? Do you need more information about nutrition? If so, contact me today I can help!
Mavis Kelley, CHHC, AADP is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Life Coach specializing in nutrition, health, well-being, fitness and lifestyle design. For more information or to schedule a breakthrough session, please contact her at: Mavis@nspirehealthyliving.net or visit her website at: http://NspireHealthyLiving.com.