Having trouble sticking to you New Year's resolution of eating healthy? We're here to help. Keeping a goal to eat healthier is made easier if you focus on these two goals: managing your plate and choosing better snacks.
Plan your plate
Have you heard about the USDA's "Choose My Plate" initiative? If you aren't working directly with your doctor or dietitian to plan your meals, it's a great way to think about your meals in terms of portion size and what types of food you should eat for the right balance of nutrients. Use the "Choose My Plate guidelines to stick to your healthy eating goal. Keep it in mind when planning your meals.
Logansport Memorial Hospital supports the Choose My Plate initiative because our providers have found that - for most patients - healthy habits come from repeating healthy choices. These guidelines are designed to help you manage the food you put on your plate.
Five more tips:
Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, and choose whole grains at least half the time over refined grains.
Switch to fat-free of low-fat (1%) milk.
Choose foods lower in sodium.
Drink water instead of soda, and reduce alcohol consumption.
When eating out, ask for a take-home box when the waiter delivers your meal to the table. Restaurant portion sizes are often double - and sometimes triple - what you need.
Busy schedules make sticking to lifestyle changes challenging. Sometimes there just isn't enough time to prepare a full meal, and it's on those days when you might be tempted to grab a not-so-healthy snack between meals to satiate your hunger.
The type of snack you eat will either help or hinder your health goals. Most processed snack foods are high in refined carbs and sugar, and they will leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more food.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Prep any of these quick and easy recipes ahead of time to have healthy snacks on hand to satisfy your hunger next time you're feeling like you need a snack.
Combine one-part dried fruit with two-parts nuts (like almonds or pistachios to boost the protein level) and then pre-package single handful servings into snack bags for healthy, on-the-go mini-meals.
Think of these as turkey sandwiches without the bread. Simply roll-up some veggies in a slice of deli-turkey (with or without a slice of cheese) for a fast and simple high-protein snack. Consider mixing up your veggie and cheese add-ins to keep things interesting so that you won't get tired of this snack option.
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to prepare and even easier to eat - a true "fast-food". Eggs contain almost every nutrient your body needs, and they are particularly high in B vitamins. When you need a filling snack, eating one hard-boiled egg will help you feel full and not feeling hungry can lead to eating smaller meals (and possible consuming fewer calories) later in the day.
Veggies and hummus
Hummus is a great high-protein snack. Made from chickpeas, the dip is a great healthy snack option with bell pepper slices or carrots and celery sticks. When you are traveling, pack veggies in a portable container with some hummus and enjoy anytime, anywhere.
Apple slices and peanut butter
Although peanut butter has a lot of calories, if used in moderation, it can make for a filling, high-protein snack. And, don't peel your apple! It's skin is high in filling fiber. An added bonus? Neither apples nor peanut butter require refrigeration, making this an extremely portable healthy snack option.
Avocado and chicken salad
Avocados are high in important nutrients, including folate, and chicken is high in protein. Combine the two and you have a tasty and healthy snack that will keep you full and satisfied.
Edamame are unripe soybeans. They are high in protein, vitamins and minerals, and make for a quick and easy snack. Steam some up and place them in a portable container to enjoy on the go. To eat, pull the beans out from each pod.
The key to healthy snacking is to make sure your snacks are nutritious and contain protein. If you are concerned about your health and ready to make some changes, but don't want to do it on your own, we are here. Make an appointment with your primary care physician to help you evaluate your health and create a plan for your healthier future.