Instead of “dieting,” come up with a healthy eating plan you can stick to – and include healthy foods you enjoy.
Use these tips to develop your healthy eating plan.
- “Budget” enough but not too many calories each day. Talk with your doctor or use an online calculator to find out how many calories your body needs each day.
- Keep track of the calories you eat each day. And don’t go over your “budget.”
- Eat a varied diet to get all the vitamins and minerals you need.
- Focus your eating plan on fruits and vegetables. These foods are low in calories, high in nutrients, and can help you feel full.
- Choose whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products like cheese and yogurt.
- Eat lean protein like chicken, turkey, fish and lean beef and pork. Grill or bake meats to keep them healthy.
- Read food labels carefully. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
- Don’t drink your calories. Drink water or low-fat milk instead of soda, sweet tea and other sugary drinks. Sweetened drinks can be high in calories.
Even small changes can make a big difference.
If you are struggling to make and stick to a healthy eating plan, start small by making little changes every day.
- Make half your grains whole grains. Eat whole grain bread instead of white bread. Try brown rice or whole wheat pasta in dishes.
- Eat a green salad with dinner every night. Add color by adding fresh carrots, tomatoes, or other fresh vegetables.
- Keep fruits on-hand for a sweet snack or even dessert.
- Limit sugary drinks like soda and sweet tea. Drink water or low-fat milk instead.
Gradually increase your healthy choices over time and you’ll be on your way to a healthy weight for life!