When trying to lose weight, it’s hard at first to know what to eat. You want to make sure you’re not hungry – a downfall to any diet – but you also don’t want to jeopardize your weight loss by eating too much. So how do you find a happy medium? You do it by balancing your food groups.
Let’s Get Visual
Let’s break this concept of balancing food groups down into a visual. Take a look at your plate and divide it in half. Fill one half of it with vegetables and fruit. Now, split the other half in two and fill one side with a meat or a high quality protein choice like eggs, cottage cheese, or legumes. The remaining portion of your plate can be completed with a whole grain choice like a hearty multi grain bread or other complex carbohydrate.
In taking a look at your day, let’s take define what each meal and snack should look like. For breakfast, you always want to have a high protein meal because it sets your body into fat burning mode right away and also keeps hunger pangs at bay longer. Greek yogurt is very high in protein and has thick consistency to it, making it an ideal and filling choice to start your day. If you are lactose intolerant, have a couple of eggs. Add a cup of fresh fruit and a slice of whole grain toast and a handful of almonds or walnuts and you are off to a good start to your day.
A handful of vegetables like carrots or a small bunch of grapes with a slice of low fat cheese or perhaps a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter or hummus will keep you full and humming along into your lunch hour.
Make the majority of this meal vegetables. Vegetable soup, salad, or just a mixture of fresh vegetables and low fat dip should be the foundation of what you eat. Add three ounces of lean meat like chicken without the skin, lean beef, or legumes if you are vegetarian, plus a few whole grain crackers, and you have enough healthy protein and fiber to fill you until late afternoon.
Again, this meal should be half a plate of vegetables – say, tossed green salad with a sweet potato on the side – and then a cut of lean meat or fish and you have another successful meal sitting in front of you.