Make Eating Easy
In today’s society, with social media, the news, blogs, and personal websites we have access to so many different forms of information. One thing these platforms have in common is how often we can find diet advice. However, most of the time I find this “advice” involves personal opinion and limited research. It’s great to be able to connect with people who have had success with weight loss, but it often leads to trying to follow diets that may not be sustainable or suitable to each individual lifestyle. In the end, this can make eating seem more confusing and leave you feeling frustrated about finding the “perfect” diet for you. It’s important to remember that there is not any one-size-fits-all diet. So, let’s take a step back and take a look at how to make eating easy.
One of the best tools available to visualize a healthy diet is the USDA’s My Plate. For those of you who remember the Food Pyramid, this is the new and improved version. Nutrition professionals started to realize that the Food Pyramid wasn’t a realistic way to look at a healthy diet. With that in mind, they created a tool to help us see foods the way we see them on a daily basis, on our plates. The overall goal is to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy at each meal. Following this model can help take the guesswork out of how to plan a healthy meal.
Some things to keep in mind when using the My Plate method are the size of your plate and serving sizes. Using a small-medium size plate (no larger than 10 inches in diameter) can help reduce the amount you put on your plate. Also, try using measuring cups instead of serving utensils. Being aware of the amount you’re eating can prevent overserving yourself at meal times.
When it comes down to it, we all need a diet we can fit into our ever-changing lifestyles. Instead of restricting and eliminating foods from your diet, take a look at your plate and explore all the different foods you could fit into these categories. There are so many possibilities!
Mary Cate is a clinical dietitian at CHI Health Lakeside. Her love of food and nutrition stems from many years of playing sports and growing up in a family that loves to cook. Her goal is to help people learn that nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and that it should be an enjoyable part of our lives.