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How to Eat Healthy

It’s easier than you think to start eating healthy! Take small steps each week to improve your nutrition and move toward a healthier you.

Eight Healthy Eating Goals

Small changes can make a big difference to your health. Try incorporating at least six of the eight goals below into your diet. Commit to incorporating one new healthy eating goal each week over the next six weeks. You can track your progress through PALA+.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables for your meals. Add fruit to meals as part of main or side dishes or as dessert. The more colorful you make your plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber your body needs to be healthy.

Make half the grains you eat whole grains: An easy way to eat more whole grains is to switch from a refined-grain food to a whole-grain food. For example, eat whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Read the ingredients list and choose products that list a whole-grain ingredients first. Look for things like: “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “rolled oats,” quinoa,” or “wild rice.”

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk: Both have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.

Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Meat, poultry, seafood, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein foods group. Select leaner cuts of ground beef (where the label says 90% lean or higher), turkey breast, or chicken breast.

Compare sodium in foods: Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

Drink water instead of sugary drinks: Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar and calories in American diets. Try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or watermelon or a splash of 100% juice to your glass of water if you want some flavor.

Eat some seafood: Seafood includes fish (such as salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (such as crab, mussels, and oysters). Seafood has protein, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy fat). Adults should try to eat at least eight ounces a week of a variety of seafood. Children can eat smaller amounts of seafood, too.

Cut back on solid fats: Eat fewer foods that contain solid fats. The major sources for Americans are cakes, cookies, and other desserts (often made with butter, margarine, or shortening); pizza; processed and fatty meats (e.g., sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ribs); and ice cream.

Use the MyPlate Icon to make sure your meal is balanced and nutritious.

Source: How to Eat Healthy

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Once you start snacking, it’s hard not to stop — you can’t just eat one! Not a good thing if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight since mindless munching can add up to hundreds of extra calories a week. Here are some ways to break bad snacking habits.

  1. Measure and be done: Eating directly out of the package almost always means eating your way to an empty bag. Read the label to find out what a serving size is, measure it out, close up the package, and take your snack elsewhere to eat.
  2. Steer clear of the M&M’s bowl: If your co-workers keep candy on their desks and you can’t help but grab a handful every time you stop by, opt for IM or email when you need to talk.
  3. Keep food out of sight: Just seeing food can be a temptation, so be sure to keep snacks and baked goods off your desk and kitchen counters (unless it’s fruit of course!).
  4. Grab that bottle: Thirst is often confused for hunger; taking sips of water when you feel a snacking urge coming on can help, and the water will also fill your belly.
  5. Freshen your breath: Minty breath might make you think twice about reaching for a snack. Brush your teeth or chew minty gum after meals to prevent eating more when you’re not even hungry.
  6. Don’t eat just because someone else is: You head over to a friend’s house and she is noshing on a bowl of popcorn. Before grabbing a handful think to yourself, “Am I actually hungry?” If the answer is no, ask for a glass of water to sip on instead.
  7. Beat boredom without food: If you tend to reach for food when you have nothing else to do, break the cycle by going for a walk, calling a friend, playing an instrument, or reading a book.
  8. Don’t eat in front of a screen: Chomping while watching TV or working on the computer means you’re not really paying attention to what you’re eating. Before you know it, you’ve devoured an entire plate of food within minutes. Whenever you eat, make sure to sit down at the table and take your time, chewing completely between each bite.
  9. Snack with a purpose: Set up a regular snacking time complete with planned out, healthy 150-calorie snacks like these, to avoid grabbing the quickest (and most likely unhealthy) snack later.
  10. Don’t buy junk: Don’t have sweets and other junk food in the house so it can’t call to you from the kitchen.
  11. Hit the hay: Late-night snacking can be the hardest habit to break, especially when you’re actually hungry. If you’re staying up way past your bedtime, enough to be hungry well after dinner, than try going to bed a littler earlier to avoid the need to pig out right before bed.

Source: http://www.fitsugar.com/author/Jenny%20Sugar

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16852189If you’re entertaining and want to keep it healthy, take a look at these great tips on easy ways to cut calories (but keep the flavor!) and include fruits and vegetables in your celebrations.

  1. A Healthy Dessert. Top mixed fruit with a dollop of sorbet or sherbet for dessert.
  2. Meat Substitutions. Make vegetable lasagna for non-meat eating guests. Instead of the meat layer, try spinach, eggplant, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms, or your favorite combination.
  3. Fruity Condiments. Serve fruit chutneys and relishes as condiments.
  4. Healthy Appetizers. Serve appetizers that use vegetables and fruits.
    1. De-seed a cucumber and fill with tabouli, hummus, or tomato bruschetta. Slice into ½ inch pieces.
    2. Top party rye with a thin layer of low-fat mayonnaise, a cucumber slice and a dash of lemon pepper, or spread with Tuna Vegetable Dip.
    3. Marinate mushrooms in your favorite low-fat vinaigrette.
    4. Top a thin slice of French bread or a melba toast round with a thin slice of part-skim mozzarella and sun-dried tomato.
  5. Be Prepared for Guests. Keep frozen and canned veggies on hand in case of an unexpected guest or last minute invitation. Check out our “Top 10 Ways to Cook Anything” for some quick and tasty preparation ideas.
  6. Create a New Tradition. Make a new veggie recipe … a new holiday tradition. Our Crazy Curly Broccoli Bake makes a great seasonal side dish (and it’s a hit with kids), Asparagus w/Lemon Sauce is a light and tangy side dish, and Fava Beans and Red Onion Salad is a delicious combination accentuating the bright colors of spring!
  7. Add Some Sparkle. Offer 100% fruit or vegetable juice as a beverage. For a healthy and fun party drink, use seltzer instead of water to make juice from 100% fruit juice concentrate.
  8. Healthy Snacks & Gifts. Don’t forget dried fruits! Add to a cheese platter or mix with nuts for snacking. A dried fruit and nut combination makes a great gift too! Also try assorted dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, apricots, cherries, blueberries and apples with mixed nuts.
  9. Trays of Crudités. What’s a party without crudités? Include some different veggies on your vegetable tray such as jicama, turnips, zucchini or steamed green beans. If you’re pressed for time, pick up fruit and vegetable trays already assembled from the supermarket.
  10. Decorate & Enjoy. A basket or bowl of fruits and veggies is a festive decoration or gift for the host of the party.

Source: Top 10 Ways to Spice Up Your Parties with Fruits & Veggies – Fruits & Veggies More Matters : Health Benefits of Fruits & Vegetables

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16793654How often do you eat out? Once a day? Once a week? Rarely? Almost every meal? People who eat out more often, particularly at fast food restaurants, are more likely to be overweight or obese. However, you can still manage your body weight when eating out by making better choices.

To eat out without blowing your calorie budget, there are three things to think about:

  • What you are eating and drinking,
  • How much you are eating and drinking, and
  • How your meal is prepared.

Get started

What are you eating and drinking?

  • Check posted calorie amounts, and choose lower calorie menu options. Many restaurants post calories on menus, in pamphlets, or on their websites. Compare food and beverage options and think about how they fit within your daily calorie limit. For example, if your daily calorie limit is 1600 calories, think twice before ordering a meal with 1300 calories. Also, don’t forget about the calories from drinks, dressings, dips, appetizers, and desserts. They all count!
  • Choose dishes that include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods. Focusing on smart food choices from each of the 5 food groups can help you stay on track at restaurants.
  • Think about what you drink. Ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, select options with fewer calories. For example, a frozen pina colada or margarita can have over 400 calories! You can check the calorie content of other beverages by going to Food-A-Pedia.
  • Watch out for desserts. Some restaurants are serving small portions of desserts, which can help decrease calorie intake. However, as a good rule, eat dessert less often.

How much are you eating and drinking?

  • Avoid oversized portions. A major challenge for many people when they eat out is being served large portions. Most people eat and drink more when served larger portions. To overcome this challenge, choose a smaller size option, share your meal, or take home half of your meal. For example, hamburgers can range from as few as 250 calories to 800 calories or more. Choose a smaller option with fewer calories.
  • To help you eat less when eating out, order from the menu instead of heading for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Many people overeat at buffets. Getting a plate of food, instead of unlimited access to food, may help you eat less. Don’t forget that you don’t have to clean your plate!

How is your meal prepared?

  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sauteéd. Avoid choosing foods with the following words: creamy, breaded, battered, or buttered. These words indicate that the food is higher in calories.
  • Ask for dressings, sauces, and syrups “on the side” so you can add only as much as you want. These sides are often high in calories – so don’t eat much of them.Stumbling blocks

Avoiding Stumbling Blocks

Concerned about making better choices when eating out? Below are some common “stumbling blocks” and ideas to help you overcome these barriers.

“I feel that I have to eat everything on my plate since it is there in front of me or else I feel like I’m wasting food.”

To control how much you eat, ask for a take home box with your order, and box half of the food up as soon as it arrives. This way you know that you will have saved on calories and also have a delicious lunch for the following day.

“I like to have a cocktail with dinner.”

Moderate alcohol consumption can be a part of a healthy diet. Limit alcohol to no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Don’t forget that some drinks provide a lot of calories. Many alcoholic beverages range from 100 to 400 calories each.

“I have heard that salads can be worse for you than a big meal!”

Salads can be high in calories if they have toppings like fried chicken, loads of cheese, and creamy dressing. To start a meal, choose a salad that is all vegetables, and ask for dressing on the side. For a main dish salad, choose one with topped with grilled or baked chicken, seafood, or lean beef.

“It’s a tradition now to get dessert after our meals when we eat out.”

Ask your friends or family to support your efforts to eat less by understanding that you won’t be ordering dessert. While they eat dessert, have a cup of tea or coffee. Have one bite of someone’s dessert if they offer to share. If fruit is available as a dessert option, order it without the whipped topping or sauce.

– See more at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/when-eating-out#sthash.1H5aboVU.dpuf

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turkeyYou’re surrounded. Mashed potatoes with gravy, fried chicken, butter, bread, chocolate, pie… and the list goes on! Let’s face it, the holidays are as much a time to spend with family and friends as they are a time for weight gain. It’s difficult to make the right decisions when faced with pressure from family, friends and just plain availability! When it’s right in front of you; saying “no” can be quite stressful and may even feel impossible. Here are some tips to get you through the holidays, even when that apple pie seems to be whispering your name:

Make Other Options Available

Not everyone wants to eat healthy. Some people may not be concerned about their diet, their health, or gaining weight during the holidays. If pushing healthy foods may cause a backlash, and nobody wants that at a family gathering, prepare healthy options to off-set all of the heavy, fatty food instead. If it’s your party, make smart substitutions, like baked potato wedges instead of fries and pita bread with hummus instead of chips and dip. If it’s not your party, bring a few side dishes that closer resemble what you want to eat. Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t mean people will ignore the dish you bring. It will just give them another option.

Consider a Cheat Meal, but Be Smart!

An occasional cheat meal for moderation and variety is part of a healthy lifestyle. And what better day to pick then on a holiday with everyone you love. Just be sensible; enjoying a cheat meal doesn’t mean all or nothing. Enjoy the foods you love in small portions and eat slowly to make sure you know when you are satiated. A good balance between healthy foods and cheat foods is a winning strategy. You’ll fill up on both and you’ll have the chance to try those foods you love, without over-indulging.

Eat Beforehand

One of the biggest diet saboteurs is going to a dinner party starving! People often lose sight of what they’re eating when they’re very hungry and it’s more difficult to contain portion sizes. If you’re hungry before you leave, have a light, healthy snack. You’ll be more satiated when you arrive, making it easier to turn down foods, even the ones you love. It will also help prevent mindless munching – eating just because the food is there.

The holidays can be a rough time for healthy eating, but if you follow these tips you can make it through without a problem. Enjoy your loved ones, enjoy the holidays and enjoy the food, just make the food the bottom of your list of priorities!

© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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