Developing a Healthy Eating Plan is the second in a blog series helping you to focus on making healthier choices and living a healthier life.
Struggling with weight is nothing new, and if weight loss is achieved, many struggle to maintain it. With hectic schedules, convenient foods, genetics, and changes in your metabolism that accompany age, weight loss and maintenance can be a challenge. Working towards and achieving behaviors to develop healthy eating habits will help with weight loss and maintenance.
We know the struggle so let’s change the approach! Let’s focus on leading a healthier life by setting realistic goals, making deliberate choices, rewarding ourselves for goals achieved, and reaching out for assistance when we need it without focusing specifically on weight loss.
If you have not, we invite you to read the first blog in the series. The blogs focus on changing to a healthier living mindset and developing a healthy eating plan. It may be a good idea to check your current BMI. AARP has a BMI calculator that can be used by a person of any age to help you determine where you are currently and where you should be based on your height and current weight.
Developing a Healthy Eating Plan
A healthy eating plan is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs while staying within your daily calorie level (calorie calculator). Foods that you can have more often include those that are lower in calories, total fat, saturated and trans-fat, cholesterol, and sodium (salt). Examples of these foods include:
- Canola or olive oils and soft margarine in moderate amounts
- Eggs in moderate amounts or egg whites
- Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
- High-fiber foods such as whole grains, breads, and cereals
- Lean meat, fish, and poultry
- Nuts that are unsalted or lightly salted and paying attention to serving size
Almost half of the added sugars in our diets come from drinks—like sodas, fruit drinks, and other sweetened beverages. So, it is also important to limit foods and beverages with added sugars including:
- Many types of desserts
- Canned fruit packed in syrup
- Fruit drinks
- Sweetened beverages.
Let Food and Nutrition Labels Be Your Guide
Learning how to read food and nutrition labels will help you stock your kitchen with low-calorie foods. Here are some helpful facts when it comes to nutrition labels:
- Read labels as you shop.
- Pay attention to the serving size and the servings per container.
- All labels list the total calories and fat in the serving size of the product.
- Compare the total calories in the product you choose with others like it.
- Choose one that is lowest in calories and fat.
Click here for the Food and Drug Administration on understanding nutrition labels.
Tips for Dining Out or Takeout
You can eat healthy when dining out or ordering takeout. The following tips can assist in making the right choices:
- Ask the waiter to change your order to accommodate your dietary needs.
- Ask if the restaurant has low-calorie options.
- You can reduce portion size by ordering appetizers as your main meal, sharing an entrée, or asking for a take-out box immediately and placing a portion of the food into the take-out box.
- Ask for fat-free (skim) milk rather than whole milk or cream.
- Trim visible fat off poultry or meat.
- Ask for butter, gravy, salad dressing, and other sauces on the side.
This is the beginning of living a healthier life and feeling great! This series will continue to deliver tips to help you achieve your goals. There are times when focusing on making healthier choices presents challenges and help is never far away. Speak with your healthcare provider about your health goals, your weight goals, your overall health, and the challenges you face. Your provider can assist in guiding you on your health journey.
As part of living a healthier life, RPM Healthcare offers remote patient monitoring for weight loss and maintenance with the goal of not only helping you feel good, but to prevent or help treat heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Visit RPM365.com for more information.