Contrary to popular belief, following a healthy diet does not necessarily mean saying goodbye to foods that taste good. It does not require you to quit carbohydrates and load up on protein, nor do you need to carry a scale around to weigh every morsel of food that you consume.
Instead, all you need is a basic understanding of energy balance, a working knowledge of meal planning, and access to nutritious foods.
Maintaining energy balance is crucial in getting your body to its peak health status.
Note: For weight gain, your calorie intake must be greater than the calories you burn. For weight loss, burn more calories than you consume. To maintain your current weight, your calories burned should equal what you consume.
To begin, reference a source that will estimate your energy (or calorie) needs. I recommend using Choosemyplate.gov. This resource will help you customize your own weight control plan.
As you become familiar with the nutrient profile of foods regularly consumed on your plan, you will learn to swap items for more variety in your diet.
Use this 1500-calorie sample meal plan as a guide:
|8 baby carrots||1 (8 ounce) container non-fat yogurt||1 medium apple with 1 Tbsp peanut butter|
|½ ounce roasted almonds and 1 (8 ounce) container non-fat yogurt||½ cup raw celery with 2 Tbsp hummus||1 medium banana|
|Baked Salmon and Vegetables:
||Spaghetti and Meatballs:
||Roasted Chicken and Baked Potato:
|1540 Calories, 93 g Protein, 260 g Carbohydrate, 46 g Dietary Fiber, 30 g Fat, 5 g Sat Fat, 224 mg Cholesterol, 2496 mg Sodium||1442 Calories, 99 g Protein, 197 g Carbohydrate, 22 g Dietary Fiber, 32 g Fat, 8 g Sat Fat, 144 mg Cholesterol, 2500 mg Sodium||1510 Calories, 94 g Protein, 204 g Carbohydrate, 38 g Dietary Fiber, 42 g Fat, 8 g Sat Fat, 135 mg Cholesterol, 2348 mg Sodium|
*Use low-calorie sweeteners and non-fat cream for added flavor in beverages
**Limit use of added salt in your meals, low-sodium ingredients and/or avoid consuming prepared meals to reduce sodium intake
Seared Chicken with Apricot Sauce
Makes: 4 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed and tenders removed
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- 4 fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- Place chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with a rolling pin, meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even thickness (about 1/2 inch). Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off excess. (Discard any leftover flour.)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the center (three to five minutes per side). Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.
- Turn off the heat. Add wine and shallot to the pan. Return to medium heat and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
- Add apricots and cook until the fruit begins to break down, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in preserves, tarragon and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Return the chicken to the pan and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the chicken with the sauce.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 252 calories; 5 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 66 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 1 g fiber; 517 mg sodium; 444 mg potassium
Recipe: Eatingwell.com, Source: Choosemyplate.gov
Article originally published on the Pathmark FB Nutrition Tip Blog