Make the 5 healthy food groups the foundation of what you eat
Good nutrition starts by choosing nutrient-rich foods from all five food groups every day:
Vegetables are a superfood and the source of many nutrients. Choose options like broccoli, spinach, kale, tomatoes, lettuce and Brussels sprouts. The fiber in vegetables keeps your stomach feeling full and satisfied, and stops your brain from sending hunger signals. Plus, vegetables are so rich in nutrients and so low in calories, they’re practically free in terms of your overall calorie intake. Tip: Keep plenty of frozen fruit, berries and vegetables on hand so you always have a fresh, healthy snack that just takes a minute to make.
Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, apples, oranges, grapefruit and cranberries are important sources of key nutrients including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). Tip: Don’t let your sweet tooth sabotage your weight loss goals — get your sugar from fruit.
Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa and kidney beans help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Selecting whole grains like bran flakes, shredded wheat, buckwheat, barley, wild rice and bulgur (cracked wheat) for at least half your daily servings may help maintain your weight. Tip: Swap out white flour tortillas with whole wheat versions. Ditto for bagels, bread, muffins and cereal.
Dairy products like low-fat milk, cheese, regular and Greek yogurt are nutrient-rich sources of calcium, vitamin D, protein and other essential nutrients. Tip: Cultured dairy products like yogurt, kefir and buttermilk, not to mention cheddar cheese, feta cheese and sour cream, contain probiotics that provide a wide array of digestive system benefits. Greek yogurt has half the sugar and carbs of regular yogurt and double the protein. In fact, one 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt provides roughly as much protein as 2 to 3 ounces of lean meat. (Just be sure to stick to low-fat and fat-free Greek yogurt, because full-fat versions are high in saturated fat.)
Proteins help promote fullness. The proteins in meat, beans and nuts are powerhouse building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, enzymes and hormones. Tip: Beans, soybeans, peas and lentils are low in fat, high in fiber and contain no cholesterol.
Follow these healthy eating Do’s and Don’ts
Here’s a trick that really works: write down everything you eat and drink, every single meal and snack, every day for at least a week. Don’t cheat yourself!
A food diary can pinpoint when your willpower gets weak and which events trigger poor food choices.
Write or type these tips (another proven trick that works to change your habits – put your goals in writing). Put this list in the kitchen, on your bathroom mirror, or even your sock drawer. Make a few extras to share with friends. Do you have an exercise buddy yet?
We encourage you to follow these guidelines for the person you want to be tomorrow – and for the healthy, active person you know you can be for the rest of your life.
Pretend your empty plate is a mirror
What if your plate could show you the “after” picture based on the “before” of what you’re about to eat? The fast way to lose weight is by learning how to build a healthy plate. Tip: For even more info, go to Choosemyplate.gov
Before you eat anything, including snacks, remember:
- Veggies, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories.
- Fit Life Tea is a smart zero-calorie choice.
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to skim or 1% milk.
- Make at least half your grains whole.
- To combat appetite fatigue, get creative with your protein choices and mix it up.
- Finally, keep your food safe to eat. Learn more at FoodSafety.gov – because food poisoning is NOT a weight loss technique!
Crank up fat burning by cutting back on solid fats
Where do solid fats hide? They’re in desserts, cakes, cookies, donuts, pizza, cheese, ribs, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ice cream, French fries, fried chicken, regular ground beef, whole milk. Solid fats include butter, milk fat, chicken fat, beef fat, cream, lard, stick margarine, shortening, and even oils like coconut oil, palm oil and hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Get the skinny on solid fats at What are Solid Fats?
Avoid buying or eating sugars and salt
Added sugars load up your meals with extra calories you don’t need. Too much salt (sodium) may increase your blood pressure. Look out for sugars and sodium in foods you buy – it all adds up. Just ask your thighs.
Eat the right amount of calories for you
Everyone has a personal calorie limit. Staying within yours can help you get to (or maintain) a healthy weight. Look up your personal daily calorie limit here and keep that number in mind when you’re deciding what to eat.
People who are successful at managing their weight have found ways to keep track of how much they eat in a day, even if they don’t count every calorie. Here’s how to lose weight fast.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Cook at home, where YOU control what’s in your food.
- Eating out? Choose low calorie options. Every menu has something to help you maintain a healthy diet to lose weight.
- Write down what you eat.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly – stick to 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
Try these tricks to drink more water every day
Ever notice how lifeless a wilted plant looks when you forget to water it? Water is just as essential for our bodies because it’s in every cell, tissue and organ in your body.
If you’re not getting enough water each day, try this:
- Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning.
- Carry a water bottle at work or running errands.
- Freeze a water bottle and take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
- Choose water or Fit Life Tea instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Substituting water, or choosing a delicious Fit Life Tea blend instead of one 20-ounce sugar-sweetened soda saves you about 240 calories.
- Choose water or tea instead of other beverages when eating out. You’ll likely save money and reduce calories.
- Give your water a little pizzazz by adding a wedge of lime or lemon. Or drink delicious Fit Life Tea to quench your thirst and hydrate your body.
- Feeling thirsty is a signal you’re already dehydrated. Don’t delay. At the first sign of thirst, drink water. For some people, drinking tea quenches their thirst even faster than water.
- Drink a glass of water before you turn in for the night – or have a cup of Organic Sleepy Tea.
- Drink water to improve the health of your skin. Many dermatologists believe the best moisturizer in the world comes out of your faucet.
Getting enough water every day helps your body:
- Keep its temperature normal.
- Lubricates and cushions joints.
- Protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
- Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements.
Read about nutrition (it’s a weight loss strategy that really works)
It may sound crazy, but simply learning more about nutrition can actually motivate you to make better food choices. In other words, feed your mind, too! Check out these links to learn about food choices and body wellness.
Resources used to put together Fit Life Tea nutrition content include:
And keep checking back here at FitLifeTea.com, because we’ll constantly be sharing new fitness info and fresh ideas for meal plans and nutritional recipes. We’re all about providing the ongoing inspiration you need to help you lead a healthy, active life.