Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

by Posted on: March 26, 2013Categories: LiveWell 24/7   


What is a healthy eating plan? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a wide variety of foods. Some of these foods you may have not previously considered eating. If “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can’t have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat! The following are refreshing, delicious foods to include in your healthy eating plan:

  • Fresh Fruit: There are so many varieties of fruit to explore! Don’t just think apples or bananas, try some “exotic” fruits such as mango, kiwi, or pineapple. When your favorite fresh fruits aren’t in season, try a frozen variety. Make it a goal to purchase a new fruit each week during your grocery store trips.
  • Fresh Vegetables: Try something new! You may find that you love grilled or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried such as rosemary. Saute vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Frozen vegetables are a great option for your favorites that may not be in season. Just like new fruits, try to purchase a new vegetable you haven’t tried each week.
  • A New Twist on an Old Favorite: If your favorite recipe calls for frying fish or breaded chicken, try a healthier variation by baking or grilling your protein. Search the internet and magazines for healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods. You will be surprised how easy it is to make the switch!

Healthy eating is all about balance. You can enjoy your favorite foods even if they are high in calories, fat, or added sugars. They key is eating them only once in a while and balancing them out with healthier foods and more physical activity. You can figure out how to include almost any food into your healthy eating plan in a way that still helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.  Here are some tips for eating your favorite comfort foods:

  • Consume them less often. If you normally eat these foods every day, cut back to once or twice a week or once a month. You’ll be cutting your calories because you’re not having the food as often. 
  • Eat smaller amounts. If your favorite high calorie food is a chocolate bar, have a smaller size or only half a bar. Be careful! This technique works well for some people, but others may find it is too tempting to have their favorite food available, even in smaller amounts.
  • Try a healthier variation of your favorite food. Use lower-calorie ingredients or prepare it in a healthier fashion. For example, if your macaroni and cheese recipe uses whole milk, butter, and full-fat cheese, try remaking it with non-fat milk, less butter, light cream cheese, and add fresh veggies to the mix.

Being consistently healthy in your eating choices is the key. Making the same healthy eating choices over time can lead to better eating habits. By thinking more positively and focusing on what you can have, you’ll help yourself establish healthy eating habits.


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