What did you eat? What did you have to give up? These are usually the second and third questions we are asked after sharing our weight loss story. Most people are pleasantly surprised when we say we still eat the foods we love! Truth is, we didn’t give up anything.
Let us explain.
Life is about balance. Life is about experience. It is in the balance and experience of life that you create your lifestyle. It’s important to have balance in your nutritional health and have the experience of indulging or treating yourself to old & new food experiences.
In our approach to BetterChoices, we knew enjoying food was going to be key to our healthier lifestyle success. We realized this change did not mean we could not enjoy “indulgences,” it just meant we had to enjoy them in moderation. What do we mean by “moderation?” Glad you asked!
We’ve included a healthy plate diagram based on the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion dietary recommendations. It’s important to fuel your body with healthier sources and proper servings of protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, dairy, and healthy fats. Each group provides your body with essential nutrients that keep your body properly fueled and operating. Whether losing weight or creating a healthier lifestyle, dietary balance is key to your overall health & wellness.
The healthy food plate diagram illustrates the five main food groups to guide you in creating a dietary balance. Each food group includes the daily serving recommendations.
Based on the foods YOU love, create your very own weekly meal plan and make BetterChoices when selecting ingredients, as well as, preparing and consuming the proper servings. Slight reductions or increases can be made based on your daily caloric intake requirement relevant to your height, weight, activity level, and weight loss goals.
Here are examples from each nutritional category. Simply plug & play based on what you enjoy eating! As always, never shy away from trying something new!
Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, bell peppers, black beans, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, kale, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.
Fruit: apple, bananas, blackberries, coconut, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, pomegranate, strawberries, watermelon, etc.
Fats & Oils: coconut oil, olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, walnut oil etc.
Protein: lean beef, chicken, tofu, ground turkey, halibut, salmon, tilapia, tuna, almonds, walnuts, etc.
Whole Grains: brown rice, corn tortillas, muesli, oatmeal, popcorn, rolled oats, quinoa, whole wheat pita, whole wheat pastas, wild rice, etc.
Dairy: skim milk, almond milk, soy milk, low fat greek yogurt, eggs, reduced fat cheese, etc.
Eric and Maleka Beal are health coaches and co-founders of BetterChoices, a health & wellness company and social community focused on educating, advocating, and promoting better health and wellness through lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness education.