Eating healthy is actually quite easy, you just need to think a little bit about your food choices until they develop into habits. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Eat a variety of food from the food guide pyramid. You need at least this many servings per day:
- 2-3 servings of fruits
- 3-5 servings of veggies
- 2-3 servings of meats
- 2-4 servings of dairy
- 4-6 servings of grains
It is okay to eat all the foods you like, in moderation. Eating cheesecake or pizza every night will probably expand your waist line, however eating your favorite high fat, low nutrient foods once or twice a week is fine. If you restrict these foods from your diet all together you will most likely start craving them and start eating larger portions of other foods to make up for them, so let your self indulge on occasion, just don’t make it a regular daily habit.
Portion sizes of foods and drinks have double, tripled and even quadrupled over the past few decades. What was once a regular drink at fast food restaurants is now the kiddie size. Our bagels are at least 2-3 times the size of a regular bagel 10-15 years ago. Portion sizes when we eat out at restaurants are usually 2-3 times what is recommended by our government in the Food Guide Pyramid. And, not to mention our dinner plates at home are even bigger. So it’s no wonder that Americans have a rapidly growing waste line with all of the extra food and extra calories we are consuming on a regular basis.
So what is the solution to the portion size quandary?
Learn what a portion size should be for each food group and learn how to identify that portion size the next time you go to eat something. Practice makes perfect!
Examples of correct portion sizes:
- A portion of meat should be 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards
- A portion of grains (i.e. cooked pasta/rice) is ½ a cup or the size of a small fist
- A portion of cooked veggies is ½ cup, and raw veggies (i.e. salad) is 1 cup
- A portion of fruit is a medium apple, ¼ dried fruit or ½ cup canned fruit
- A portion of dairy is 8 ounces of milk, yogurt or 1 ounce of cheese (the size of 2 dice)