Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Monitoring Your Diet for a Healthy Weight

A healthy lifestyle is rooted into healthy choices. Choosing the right diet or meal plan can go a long way to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. So how do you come up with a healthy diet plan? Let’s start with understanding what a healthy diet is. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy eating plan;

  • Included fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Accentuates lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and dry-fruits
  • Is low in preservatives, added sugars, saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, and salt
  • Meets the daily caloric needs

Will I need to give up my favorite comfort foods?

No! A healthy diet is all about meeting your daily nutritional needs. You can continue to enjoy your favorite delicacies as long as your body is meeting its daily dose of nutrition and calories. Drawing boundaries around foods that are high in calories, fat, or added sugars is key to a healthy diet plan. Here are some general tips to keep in mind when it comes to comfort foods;

  • Slow down the frequency. Avoid eating these foods every day, and include them in your diet once a week or a month. Your primary focus should be on cutting down high-calorie foods. 
  • Moderate yourself and avoid overeating. For instance, if you like eating a chocolate bar once in a while, cut down on their proportions. Go for a smaller size or half a bar at a time. While this may work for some individuals, others may find it distracting to have their favorite food available to them, so be careful!
  • Try low-fat or low-calorie versions of your favorite foods. If you cannot find low-fat versions of these foods, prepare them yourself. For instance, if you are preparing mac and cheese, instead of using whole milk, butter, and cheese, try using non-fat milk, light cream cheese, less butter, and add some vegetables like spinach or tomatoes. 

Eat Healthy and Savor It!

A healthy diet plan is about much more than eating healthy healthy food, it also includes managing your expectations. Many will focus on the foods they cannot eat when they talk about a healthy diet plan, however, by focusing on all the new foods you can eat, the transition becomes a lot easier. Here are some foods that should be part of a healthy diet plan:

  • Fruits: Besides the common fruits like apples and bananas, there are several fruits that you can enjoy. While your favorite fruits are out of season, try some exotic ones that you have never eaten before like kiwi, mango, or pineapple. You can diversify your fruit intake with canned, dried, or frozen fruits that are available year-round. One thing to note about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars and preservatives. Be sure to buy canned fruits that avoid this approach and instead package using water or their juice. 
  • Vegetables: Much like fruits, there are several vegetables out there that can become a part of your diet plan. While we all enjoy vegetables in a soup or a pizza, try grilled or steamed vegetables if you are looking for a different balance of flavors. You can either saute vegetables in a pan or have a side of canned or frozen vegetables. Be sure to look for canned vegetables with added salt, cream, or butter. One way to not lose interest when switching to a new diet is to keep trying new vegetables. 
  • Calcium-rich foods: The first thing to come to our mind when someone says ‘eat more daily products’ is low-fat milk, butter, or cheese. To diversify your dairy menu, try eating fat-free yogurt  without added sugars. These come in a variety of flavors and can be a healthy substitute for traditional desert. 
  • Switch around your old recipes: If your favorite recipe calls for deep-frying, try healthier alternatives like baking or grilling. You can even try switching meat with beans or vegetables. There are several alternative recipes online that can teach you a healthier approach to traditional recipes.