What Is a Healthy Diet to Lose Weight?
Your diet and physical activity level affect not only your waist line but your health—how you feel today and in the future. Have you ever asked yourself what a healthy diet is? Healthy diet is a balanced diet.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the healthy diet is the one that:
- Emphasizes fruits and vegetables. The diet must include at least 4 servings of fruits and 4 servings of vegetables a day. A serving is a medium fruit or a cup of raw leafy vegetable. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
- Emphasizes whole grains. These are major sources of energy and fiber. Try to eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Do not add whole-grain product, simply substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one. Tips to help you eat whole grains…
- Includes fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. According to the study published on April 16, 2005 in Obesity Research, dairy foods have a positive impact on weight loss. Dairy foods help you get calcium and protein.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. These foods are rich sources of protein and magnesium. Tips to help you make wise choices from the meat & beans group…
- Is low in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. If you like sweets, try to choose those that are low in fat and eat as little sweets as possible.
Imagine your dinner plate has four quarters: one quarter for a starch dish, one quarter for a protein and two quarters for vegetables. This is a balanced meal.
Controlling Portion Sizes
It’s a common myth that eating certain types of food while avoiding others can help you lose weight without paying any attention to your portion sizes. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, no matter what kind of food you eat.
Use familiar objects to picture how much you should eat of a food. Here are some tips:
- Woman’s fist or baseball - a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist
- A rounded handful - about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta – this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels
- Deck of cards - a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don’t count your fingers!) – for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop
- Golf ball or large egg - one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts
- Tennis ball - about one half cup of ice cream
- Computer mouse - about the size of a small baked potato
- Compact disc - about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle
- Thumb tip - about one teaspoon of peanut butter
- Six dice - a serving of cheese
- Check book - a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)