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Building a Healthier Meal Plate

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

We'll show you how to build a healthier meal plate and lose those unhealthy pounds.

While exercise is vital to optimum health, the most influencing element of your weight involves the calories contained within your daily diet.

The healthier your choices, the more likely you are to be at your recommended weight - as well as enjoy a higher quality of life with minimal risk for illness and certain diseases.

The old gene pool heavily impacts our risk factors for those unfortunate list of diseases that can be inherited but when we battle those risks with super foods we can drastically reduce or irradiate those risks.

Our daily diet reflects upon everything from our weight - to our feeling of well being. When we eat well, we are more apt to feel well. When we eat well, we are more apt to look well in our appearance. And when we eat well, we're more likely to be happy with our weight loss plan.

Let's get busy building a healthier meal plate, shall we? You're going to feel great, look great and enjoy a good meal in the process. What more could a contented dieter ask for?

Fruits & Vegetables on Your Meal Plate, Including the Size of Our Grains, Proteins & Dairy Selections

As we start to build our plate, we want to start with the food selections that tend to be lowest in calories, then go up from there. You can't get any lower when it comes to fruits and vegetables.

And while dieting, if we are able to eat more food then we are less likely to experience hunger. In the process, we are satisfying our chewing needs - which like the tummy, shrink over time. Simply put, those chewing needs also require some trimming down. At the beginning of the weight loss plan the chewing needs are extreme; as the plan progresses, the body gets adjusted to the new eating schedule and doesn't expect to be fed as often during the day - or as much at meal time. Thus our chewing needs greatly reduce along with the size of our stomach.

While the base of our meal plate is fruit and vegetables, we want to shrink other areas. We're seeming to use the word 'shrink' a lot but shrinking foods also relates to shrinking overall weight. As a note - we did increase the size of our fruit and vegetable amounts.

The foods that we need to limit are proteins and grains. In this day and age, it's not uncommon to see diners hugging-up and consuming one-pound or more of beef steak. The recommended serving size equals three ounces of most proteins. This amount such as found in a steak should fit into the palm of the hand and should been very thin in height.

As to grains, bread can be the chief offender on our plate. It gets beefed-up with butter or margarine and at times, olive oil mixed with cracked pepper. At times the diner will drown it in a pool of full-blown country gravy. It may often be swimming in fruit preserves, jelly or jam and peanut butter for snack time.

And rather than using it to create one sandwich, at times the diner will use four to six slices to create more sandwiches.

Therefore, while dieting - stick to those three ounces of proteins.

If it's a plant protein such as beans - then eat 1/2 cup. If you're using canned or commercially packaged products - then pause and take time to read the nutrition labels which will list the recommended serving size. But take note as that serving size is based on a standard 2,000 calorie daily diet. If you require less calories to support your recommended weight, then you're going to need to trim those calories from your serving.

For example, Diet Betsy is five foot tall and her goal weight is 110 pounds.

She requires not more than 1,500 calories per day to maintain her ideal weight. She purchases a commercially produced casserole which states that serving size equals two cups of the product. Therefore she consumes only one and one-half cup to keep her calories on track.

Now we come to the dairy selections. This is a difficult section for most dieters as they enjoy those full-blown cheeses, milk, sour cream, butter and so forth. While trimming calories can assist in generating weight loss, we also need to monitor our dietary fat consumption in our diet. Try the low fat versions of products found in the dairy section; see how well that you do with them. If you just can't stand them - then do like Betsy and use less of the full-blown varieties.

So thus far we've started pulling out foods to build our meal plate.

We're going to use a free hand with our fruits and vegetables and we're going to stick to three ounces of protein sources. We're also going to limit our bread at meal time. And we're opting for low fat dairy products for a healthier plate - or cup.

Before we start loading our plate, let's talk about that. If you use a smaller plate as well as a smaller drinking container - then you're apt to feel like you're eating more food. We don't want the 'green olive stuffed with the red pimento resting on the jumbo white plate' scenario. We want the 'wow - this is a lot of food and I'm on a diet?' scenario.

You're on your way to building a healthier meal plate at this point and if you stick to the basics and add moderate exercise to your day, you will start to see a decline on the bathroom scales.

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