Diet, weight loss, healthy eating, meal plans, portion control each of these words can create an instant, overwhelming sense of dread and fear. A quick search on the Internet displays thousands of diet options, from medical diets and trendy, fad-diets to those that make one wonder if survival is even possible. The majority of people who have chosen to commit to healthy eating habits and weight loss are crippled by the initial how-to. The fact is a simple strategy is all that is needed for implementing a healthy diet. Once the foundation is laid, weight loss and a healthy lifestyle will undoubtedly follow. By using information contained on the following three websites, you will be motivated and knowledgeable on how to lay down that cookie and pick up healthy habits.
Portions in Perspective
The USDA website is a great source of basic nutrition information regarding portion sizes and serving sizes. Americans have developed a distorted perception of serving sizes, especially when eating out. The portion sizes served up at restaurants are so large that an entire day’s caloric intake can be unknowingly consumed in one sitting. Making changes in portion sizes does not require being confined to the kitchen with a food scale and measuring devices. Simple visual techniques can be used to estimate healthy serving sizes. The easiest tip for portion control is visually dividing the plate into three parts. Draw a line down the middle of the plate, next visually cut one half in half making three sections. The largest section should be filled with non-starch vegetables. One quarter consists of a protein such as lean beef, chicken, or fish. The remaining quarter contains complex carbohydrates such as whole grain rice or pasta.
This site is filled with useful tools to get you started, track your progress, and keep you motivated. You can easily analyze the nutritional value of a favorite recipe with the analyze recipe tool. Learn which foods provide you with the most “bang for the buck” so to speak. Additionally, the site is filled with informative articles, calculators, and meal suggestions.
In the Kitchen
Cooking at home is not only affordable, but helps you control portions and ingredients. This is a terrific go to site for recipes from basic to unique. There are healthy alternatives to traditional comfort foods and foods that will encourage you to explore new tastes. Look around the site and browse the active community full of people sharing a love of healthy food. The list of healthy pantry staples is a valuable resource showing you that stocking ordinary ingredients provides a solid foundation for quick, nutritious meals.
Lastly, take one day at a time. Committing to a new, healthy way of eating will take time and should not be seen as a life-long deprivation of the high-calorie favorites you once enjoyed. Exploring new food, choosing low-calorie alternatives to high- calorie favorites, or eating smaller portions of old favorites are easy steps to guide you on the right path to healthy eating. Once eating habits have changed, gradual weight loss will begin to happen almost effortlessly.
The United States Department of Agriculture http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navtype=SU&navid=FOOD_NUTRITION
Self Nutrition Data http://nutritiondata.self.com/
Cooking Light http://www.cookinglight.com/