When you picture a balanced diet in your mind, what foods are included? You might be surprised to know you can enjoy most foods when eaten in the right amounts at the right time. For example, you wouldn’t want to eat a dinner of roast beef with mashed potatoes at 8 p.m., but a meal of roast beef, tossed salad, and a small side of mashed potatoes would be fine at 5 p.m. It’s all in the balance.
Here’s a quick list to help you choose the best food and portions:
* Focus on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, nuts, and legumes.
* Eat a serving of protein with each meal or snack.
* Increase your vegetable intake and try replacing some starches with an extra veggie.
* Become a small plate advocate and use a dessert plate for meals.
* Don’t let yourself get too hungry, and if you do, eat a handful of nuts or seeds before you’re tempted to binge.
* Decrease food and alcohol as you approach the 7 o’clock hour. Eating after this can cause extra pounds to linger.
Ultimately, pay attention to your natural hunger and fullness signals. Drink plenty of water (equal to one-third of your body weight) and stay hydrated. Soon, you’ll find balance in your diet and lose the extra weight.
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