Healthy eating means making better food choices. And incorporating your favorite foods, traditions, and your budget makes it more likely to continue eating healthier.
MyPlate.gov suggests that you “choose fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods to get the most nutrition and meet your personal calorie needs. Aim for a variety of foods and beverages from each food group and limit saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.”
Resources from MyPlate.gov
Everything You Eat and Drink Matters — Focus on Variety, Amount, and Nutrition read more
Choose Foods and Beverages with Less Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Added Sugars read more
Start with Small Changes read more
Losing Weight by Eating Well
When you are trying to lose weight, don’t consider a “diet”, instead begin an overall lifestyle-change by eating healthier, watching your portion-sizes and becoming more physically active. Studies show that you have a better chance of losing the weight for good when you choose practical eating habits versus “fad diets”. Plus, eating healthier will improve your overall health as well.
The trick to eating healthy means choosing nutritious foods that fill you up and have fewer calories and fat than junk food with empty calories. Picking an eating plan that includes lower sugar and fat content foods, and one that incorporates more fruits, veggies, and lean protein will not only help you lose weight, but most likely lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and your lower your risk for diabetes and some cancers.
Click here for a healthy eating video to help you get started.
To eat well, learn how to shop and stock up your kitchen with the right healthy foods. Avoid buying unhealthy food items because you might be tempted to eat them if they are around. Click here are some helpful shopping tips from the American Heart Association. Looking For Ways To Slim Down For Summer? Check Out All Of The Workouts At lightenuponslow.org/exercise
Processed Foods: What's OK and What to Avoid Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It's blamed for our nation's obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the rise of Type 2 diabetes.
But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and drive-thru hamburgers. It may be a surprise to learn that whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple also are processed foods.
While some processed foods should be consumed with caution, many actually have a place in a balanced diet. Here's how to sort the nutritious from the not-so-nutritious.
Learn more …
National Institutes of Health Diet Study
Low-Fat Vs Low-Carb? Which Diet Works Best for Weight Loss?
Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss results. A year-long clinical trial conducted by the National Institute of Health showed no significant weight-loss differences between the low-fat and low-carb groups in the study.
After 12 months, National Institute of Health states “the low-fat group had lost 11.7 lbs (5.3 kg) and the low-carb group 13.2 lbs (6.0 kg); this difference of 1.5 lbs over 12 months (0.125 lbs/month) is neither statistically significant nor clinically relevant.”
This study, along with a large body of other evidence indicates that neither low-fat nor a low-carb is will significantly improve your chances of losing weight (if caloric intake is the same). Bottomline, you should choose your diet based your personal preferences and health goals, and a healthy diet that you will be able to maintain for life.
How Much Protein Do You Really Need?
Most of us have been brought up to believe that we need animal protein with every meal and we eat far more protein than we need. And unfortunately, Americans choice of protein tends to be high-fat meats such as ground beef, bacon, and sausage.
The American Heart Association suggests “When choosing protein, opt for low-fat options, such as lean meats, skim milk or other foods with high levels of protein. Legumes, for example, can pack about 16 grams of protein per cup and are a low-fat and inexpensive alternative to meat.”
The USDA has a tool that was developed by the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine that can help you determine what your daily protein should be, and all your other daily nutrients as well.
Once you determine your specific daily needs you can work towards a eating a healthier diet that includes the right amount of protein. Click here to find out your daily dietary needs.
Take the guesswork out of comparing Nutrition labels by looking for the Heart-Check mark on grocery products. The American Heart Association has done the work to make it easier to recognize foods that can be part of a healthy eating plan. Every product that displays the Heart-Check mark is certified by the American Heart Association to meet their nutrition requirements. Requirements that include low amounts of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and added sugars.
How Many Calories Can Beverages Contribute to Your Daily Intake?
According to the CDC.gov, “sugar-sweetened beverages are a leading source of added sugars” in our diet. Calories from drinks can add up quickly and drinking beverages high in sugar content increases the risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. But there are plenty of options for reducing the number of calories in what you drink. Click here for a Guidebook of alternative drink choices
Eat The Right Amount Of Calories For You. MyPlate SUPER TRACKER helps you figure out the right amount of calories for your height and weight, and a personalized food plan, MyPlate SUPER TRACKER can help you track your calories and your physical activity.
Meal Planning Towards Better Health
Still looking for a way to tackle your New Year’s Resolution? The answer could be in your lunch box! Each year the average American employee spends close to $3,000 to eat out for lunch. Not only does this affect your wallet, it can also affect your health. This month commit to putting down the menu and grabbing the shopping cart to roll towards healthier lunches!
Ready to Lose Weight? What Diet Will Work Best for You?
Now that you’ve made the commitment to lose weight, you might need a diet to help you manage calories and one that ensures that you are eating healthy as well. Click here for a list of healthy and sensible diet suggestions from Lighten Up Onslow.
Emotional Eating: How to Cope
If you raid the fridge when you’re stressed or upset, that’s called emotional eating. Emotional eating affects most everyone from time to time, but regularly letting your feelings guide your food intake can affect your health. Read more
Weight Loss Apps to Help You Stay on Track
Click here for a list of free apps that you can download to your phone that will help you track your daily calories
Do you know how many calories that you should be eating a day? Here is a Calorie Calculator Tool that will help you to determine the right number of calories you should eat to lose weight.
Lighten Up Onslow Meal Planning Tool
It’s a known fact that planning your meals ahead of time can help to keep you on track when you are dieting. To help you plan your weekly meals, print our Lighten Up Onslow Meal Planning Tool, start to choose meals from the thousands of healthy recipes we have listed on the Lighten Up Pinterest Recipe site. Write down your choices on the meal planning tool. If you decide your meals ahead of time, you are more apt to stay on your healthy eating plan, and achieve your weight loss goals.
Little Italy Chicken Pitas A healthy lunch doesn’t mean it has to be a dull or humdrum. Our lunch suggestions are exciting, delicious and easy to take with you. We’ve gathered a number of tasty pack-and-go recipes for you and your whole family to try. From easy-to-pack sandwiches and great soups and salads, you won’t get bored with these choices.
Why Add Kale to Your Diet?
Hands-Down, Kale is Best
Of all the healthy greens that you can choose to eat, kale is by far the best for you. It is one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods found on earth.
Some of the health benefits of eating kale include: it is very high in antioxidants, it is a source of vitamin C, it can help lower cholesterol which may help to lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and it contains many cancer-fighting substances.
Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet. Here’s a link to a Quinoa & Kale Protein Power Salad recipe to enjoy!
Why are so many people overweight nowadays? According to the National Institute of Health, Our portions have grown over the years. For example in 2016 muffin the average muffin is around 500 calories versus a 1996 muffin which was only 210 calories. That’s over 200% more calories!
Lighten Up Onslow Grocery List template
Because most people buy the same grocery items each week, customize your grocery list to the things you usually buy. Hang your grocery list on your refrigerator and highlight items as you run out of them. This will make grocery shopping less of a chore. The easier it is to shop, cook and manage everyday life, the more likely you are to commit to eating better and becoming a healthier you!
Control Research suggests that safe weight loss involves combining a reduced-calorie diet with physical activity. Simply said, you need to eat smaller portions to lose weight. Portion sizes can be very confusing though so here is a printable chart that shows you different portion sizes. Click here for the WebMd portion-size guide that you can take with you.
Chicken Tinga Tacos
According to MyPlate.gov, they recommend the following “choose a variety of foods and beverages from each food group to build healthy eating styles.
Include choices from all the MyPlate food groups to meet your calorie and nutrient needs when planning or preparing meals and snacks.”
Eating Right for a Healthy Weight
Losing weight is not only about looking good for that special event, or to fit into a size 8 dress, it's about achieving overall good health. Instead of short-term weight loss, focus on changing your lifestyle to slowly incorporate good habits. Remember eating right and balancing your plate with a variety of healthy foods ensures better health.
So get started by setting realistic goals. You are more likely to succeed when you make step-by-step changes. Start with one or two specific, small adjustments to your diet. Click here for some tips to get you started.” from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
If you must eat out and on-the-go, be sure to choose your meals wisely.
Most Americans don’t realize that restaurant portions are 2 – 3 times larger than daily recommended amount and that they contain more fat and calories than suggested each day to maintain a healthy body weight. Fast Food Nutrition is great website and resource that allows you to view the nutrition facts for most restaurants.
Now you can be well-informed about the food choices you make when you eat out
The SuperTracker is a free online tracker and plan that shows your daily food group targets. You can set up your own customized profile that includes your calorie intake per day so that you know what and how much to eat within your calorie allowance. You can even compare two foods to see how many calories is in each food and which food is a better choice to stay within your calorie guidelines.
Dining Out on a Diet
Most Americans eat out these days, and some try to eat healthier at restaurants. But dining out can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing. Read more
Balance your calories with portion control. Eating the correct portion sizes to lose or maintain a healthy diet can be confusing. Click here for a handy chart for food portion control examples.
Weight Loss Tips from Successful Dieters
They follow a calorie-controlled diet, watching their food portions and they concentrate on eating more vegetables and less high-fat foods.
-They consistently eat breakfast,
Is a gluten-free diet is healthier? According to WebMd, it isn’t. “For people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential. But for others, "unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber," Dr. Peter, Green. If you’d like to try eating gluten-free, here are some recipes to sample and more recipes available on the Lighten Up Pinterest Recipe site
Top Ten Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget
These days many families are trying to cut back on costs at home, including food. But there are things you can do to spend less. Read more
Fast Food: Healthier Choices
If you must eat out and there is no choice but fast food, try some of these healthier options. Subway® Restaurants offer some better selections. For example, try one of their healthier 6-inch Subs on a whole wheat bun. One example is their Oven Roasted Chicken Breast Sandwich, which contains 325 calories and only 5 grams of fat. Fortunately, most fast food restaurants offer healthy sides, such as Arby's Chopped Side Salad which is only 80 calories and contains 5 grams of fat. Top this salad with a lite Italian dressing (20 calories and 1 gram of fat), for a total of 100 calories, and 2 grams of fat. On the other hand, there are some very unhealthy choices. If you order a Little Caesars Bacon Wrapped Crust Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza, you'll be getting a whopping 450 calories and 23 grams of fat for just one slice! Read more
Health Benefits of Losing Weight
Here is a great reason to keep your healthy lifestyle and weight loss going: No matter what your weight loss goal is, even a modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight, will most likely produce health benefits such as improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose. In addition, you have been establishing better eating and fitness habits that will help you be healthier overall. These healthy habits can help you maintain your weight loss over time. Good for you! To help keep you motivated: Jillian Michaels Slim-Down: Weight Loss, Diet, Fitness, Workout & Exercise Solution
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