Build A Better Plate
If you follow me on Facebook, we have been discussing 5 habits that are critical for maintaining a healthy diet and body composition over the past few weeks. These habits help us build the perfect meal and help us learn to eat the right amount for our personal lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for a place to start or you just want to fine tune your already healthy habits, we can all benefit from following these steps:
Eat slowly at stop at 80% full
Most of us eat too quickly. We expect to eat to the point of fullness at each meal. But, this type of eating will always present challenges to leanness, performance and health. Slow down, enjoy your food and stop before you are stuffed.
Where is the protein?
Focus on including some protein with each meal. You can choose protein from both plant and animal sources. It helps keep us full longer and consequently helps us manage our body weight.
Where are the vegetables?
When we develop a habit for eating vegetables at each meal, we are much more likely to get our 5-10 recommended servings of the cancer-fighting, free-radical-destroying, acid neutralizing, powerful foods each day.
Where are the dense carbs?
Consuming some carbs at each meal will help make your meals more satisfying, especially after exercise when your body will benefit the most. The trick is choosing the right carbs! Don’t subscribe to the no carb diet. Instead, join the controlled-carbohydrate diet.
Where are your healthy fats?
Fat does not make you fat. But, getting the right amount is key. It’s also important to be aware of the types of fat you are consuming, which should include a balance of saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
Start incorporating these 5 habits at each of your meals and see how you feel. To help you make these habits last, print out the “Cheat Sheet” and refer to it at each meal.
Take a look at the plate graphics. As you will see, the majority of each plate is full of nutrient-dense, high fiber, low-calorie vegetables and some fruit. The protein (whether plant based or animal based) helps with appetite control, keeping or building muscle and optimizing your metabolism. The healthy fats included offer many benefits too. I also suggest keeping the starchy carbs to a reasonable amount and choosing minimally processed versions. Another great tip is to adjust portion size to your size and energy level. Use a smaller plate for a smaller person or less active, and a larger plate for a larger person or highly active. If you eat slowly and stop eating at 80% full, there really is no need to calorie count.
While these habits are general, they are a great place to start. If you would like to work on an individualize plan that focuses on your specific goals, please contact me for more information with no obligation.
I offer a variety of programs including One on One Nutrition Coaching and an exciting new Online Nutrition & Workout App, both utilizing the proven, habit based programs from Precision Nutrition.
Remember, the goal of good nutrition is to help you look better, feel better and perform better. A better eating plan will help you with all three!
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