It can be hard to lose weight, take care of your heart and do it all without getting bored from your diet, however choosing the right mix of foods and good calorie range can mean the difference between feeling your best and not being able to get ahead in your health goals.
A healthy eating plan should include, at a minimum, a good caloric level and mix of nutrients that will keep your satisfied and healthy. This article will focus primarily on nutritional guidelines and offer suggestions on foods that contain the desired nutritional content but it’s important that you mix up your diet to prevent boredom.
The problem with any food plan, especially healthy eating plans is that sooner or later foods start to taste the same and you begin looking for alternatives that might be on hand– this can include things like processed junk food which will ruin your diet in excess.
Ideally you should go for real foods whenever possible, juices add variety but lack the fiber present in raw vegetables and fruits. This meal plan is designed to provide 1250 calories per day and can be easily adjusted to meet specific dietary requirements such as allergies. You’re highly encouraged to mix and match food items throughout the day to get the most out of it.
Fruit: 1 cup (1 cup is equivalent to: 1 cup of fresh/frozen/canned fruits, 1 cup fruit juices, ½ cup dried fruits)(Healthy options include: apples, pears, mangoes, grapes, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, pomegranates)
Vegetables: 1.5 cups (½ cup is equivalent to: ½ cup of raw/cooked/frozen/canned veggies, ½ cup vegetable juice, 1 cup of leafy greens)(Vary your choices to include: dark green veggies, orange veggies, starchy veggies, dry beans and peas)
Grains: 4 ounces (1 ounce is equivalent to: 1 cup of cereal flakes, 1 slice bread, 1 small muffin, ½ cup cooked rice, 1 ounce dry pasta)(Choose whole grains whenever possible)
Meats and Beans: 3 ounces (1 ounce is equivalent to: 1 ounce lean meat/poultry/fish, 1 egg, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, ½ ounce nuts/seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds))
Milk: 2 cups (1 cup is equivalent to: 1 cup milk/yogurt/soy milk, 1½ ounces of cheese)(Choose low-fat or non-fat options whenever possible)
Oils: 4 teaspoons (1 teaspoon is equivalent to: 1 teaspoon butter, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (olive oil is preferred), 1 teaspoon low- fat mayo, 2 teaspoons light salad dressing)
Your healthy eating plan can be supplemented by good planning on your end, too. Plan your meals for the week in advance so you’re not tempted to splurge and eat more than necessary for the day. Spice it up with some spices and peppers that you enjoy to get that extra kick and alleviate the ‘sameness’ and don’t be afraid of new foods which can open up entire worlds of possibility. By following your new healthy eating plan you can loose weight, feel great and before you know it, you’ll be shedding pounds and feeling better than you ever have.