Most of us remember the USDA food pyramids that showed us how we should eat – which types of foods to eat – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, etc. – in what amounts, and so on.
Those pyramids were the go-to guideline back in the day, but now there is something called MyPlate, designed as a simplified way to help people figure out what to eat each day. Basically, this diagram is a circular plate, divided into proper amounts of fruits, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy.
Of course, my philosophy on diet is the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) philosophy. For good health and weight management, don’t overindulge in anything. Some say too much sugar will make you fat. Too much carbs will make you fat. Too much fat will make you fat. Too much protein is bad for you.
The fact is, folks, too much of anything is not good for you. Too much of anything will make you fat.
If you consume more calories than your body uses, then it stores the excess for later. Plain and simple. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could eat as much as you want, and your body used what it needed, and then got rid of the rest? A perfectly efficient, fuel-burning machine.
Unfortunately, for some reason, God decided – maybe for the same reason he decided to design teeth that get cavities – that excess caloric energy would be held onto and converted into blubber.
It just ain’t fair.
Of course, the healthiest foods are whole foods, those that have been tampered with the least. One piece of sage advice I heard or read one time was to do most all your shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store – produce section, meat department, and dairy. Up and down the aisles is all the pre-fabbed, pre-packaged stuff that is bad for you. If it comes in a box, don’t eat it.
And like my friend, Bubba, says – when it comes time for meals, eat whatever you want, but stop eating before you get full. A lot of us, me included, were taught as kids to “clean” our plates, and it’s still hard for me to not eat everything.
According to the American Heart Association, we should eat 5 servings a day of vegetables, four servings of fruit, six servings of grains, three servings of dairy, and three servings of fats and oils. Poultry, meat, and eggs should be 8-9 servings a week; fish and other seafood 2-3 servings per week; and nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes 5 servings per week.
Sounds like a lot of servings.
If you ask me, and remember, I’m certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, variety is not only the spice of life, but they key to healthy eating.
Fill up your kitchen with a good mix of protein foods, carbohydrates, and fats. Don’t eat too much of any one thing. Don’t gorge yourself at meals. Eat some vegetables every day. Cut back on sweets and cut way back on sodas, if you’re a soda drinker.
There’s no magic bullet, so to speak, when it comes to healthy eating.
It’s all a matter of developing new habits, and habits take time to develop.
You can do it.