Maintaining a healthy weight is part of good health. Being underweight or overweight can put you at risk for health conditions such as weakened immune system, fatigue, anemia, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer and more. At the same time, the manner in which you choose to maintain your weight is very important. Often times, people fall into diet trends and fail to maintain their weight in healthy manners.
Healthy food, healthy you!
Food fuels your body and helps it function. Eating nutritious foods may help your body function more efficiently, prevent chronic disease and help you feel more energized. Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for your health! Try these easy methods to modify your eating habits to ensure you’re filling up on healthy foods.
This simple rule is helpful to remember at each meal. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, one quarter protein, and one quarter grains at each meal. Check out the free online MyPlate Super Tracker for sample menus and educational information.
Prevent overindulging by allowing yourself to eat unhealthy some of the time. Adopt an 80/20 rule: Eat healthy 80 percent of the time and unhealthy 20 percent. You can improve your eating even further with a 90/10 rule!
Think of the food you eat at each meal if it was laid out on the form of a peace sign on your plate. Eat mostly whole grains and fruits and vegetables, which would make up the two large upper portions. Include protein and dairy in lesser amounts, which would represent the smaller portions.
The Hunger Scale
This scale ranks physical cues of hunger to help you identify when to eat to prevent overeating. You should still watch what you eat when using this method!
- Starving: You feel weak, dizzy and may feel a burning sensation in your stomach.
- Very hungry: You feel agitated, irritable and have low energy levels.
- Pretty hungry: Your stomach is starting to growl.
- Beginning of hunger: You will start feeling the need to eat, but you can wait.
- Satisfied: You are content, neither hungry nor full.
- Slightly full: You feel a little full, but comfortable.
- Slightly uncomfortable: Hunger is gone, but you feel a little uncomfortable.
- Stuffed: You feel like you ate too much.
- Very uncomfortable: Your stomach may hurt and you feel like you might get sick.
- Overstuffed: You feel so full you are sick.
Aim to eat when your hunger is at a 3 or 4 and stop eating when you’re at a 5 or 6.
For more hunger scale tips, click here!