In 2011, the USDA introduced MyPlate, an interactive tool designed to help you make informed food choices and better understand what makes a healthy meal. MyPlate outlines your targets for each of the five food groups and is tailored to your needs based on your age, gender, weight and activity level. Start building your plate at http://choosemyplate.gov/MyPlatePlan.

Your Diet Rx

Making small changes in how you eat can add up to big benefits. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Check in with your doctor

    Before making any major lifestyle changes, visit your primary care provider to get a clear picture of your health, and learn what you can do to improve your nutrition and better manage any conditions you may have.

  • Go green!

    Make fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins the “stars” of your meals, rather than side dishes. Start slowly, adding an apple at breakfast, a salad at dinner. Fresh, nutrient-dense foods provide energy to help you power through your day. If you must buy prepared foods, aim for those that have few ingredients—and that you can pronounce!

  • Get moving!

    Not only does exercise help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, it has also been shown to reduce or eliminate stress.

 
 

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Watch When You Eat as Well as What You Eat

A lack of balance in the timing and portions of meals could hinder weight loss, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Researchers tracked 420 participants on a 20-week weight-loss program which included a Mediterranean-style diet that treated lunch as the main meal of the day. They found those who ate lunch before 3:00 pm lost more weight than those who ate later or skipped meals, even though both groups had the same daily calorie intake, did the same amount of exercise and got the same amount of sleep.

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