Eating three balanced meals each day keeps your body energized and nourished and keeps blood sugar levels in check. But what does “balanced” mean? Simply put, it’s getting the right amount of what you need to feel great! Here’s an easy way to keep your meals balanced:
Step 1. Use a 9-inch Plate
This may sound odd, but using a smaller plate is actually proven to help control portions. Because you’ve got less room on the plate, you’ll put less food on it – meaning you’re less likely to overeat. A great idea for those of us who like to clean our plates. Eating from a smaller plate will also help you recognize when you’re full, and keep you from going back for seconds.
Step 2. Divide Your Plate Into Sections
½ Veggies: Fill up on delicious non-starchy vegetables like squash, broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, and green beans or asparagus. Not a big fan of veggies? Consider roasting, grilling or baking them for extra flavor. Even ones you think you don’t like! Your taste buds change over time, so you may find your childhood “icks” are now a favorite.
¼ Lean Protein: Chicken, fish, and lean beef or pork are excellent options. Or, go for low fat cheese, tofu, or eggs.
¼ Whole Grains or Starchy Veggies: Try 100% whole-wheat bread and crackers, brown rice, corn, green peas and dried beans. These carbohydrates are a part of a balanced diet. Just remember, moderation is key!
Step 3. Choose a Smart Beverage
Our brains can sometimes confuse the signals for thirst and hunger. When you drink plenty of water throughout the day, you’ll feel fuller and avoid overeating. Add fresh lemon slices to your water or try unsweetened carbonated water to mix things up and stay hydrated!
Have special needs or want personalized meal planning support? Contact Diabetes and Nutrition Education Services and meet with a dietitian. They can help craft a meal plan that works best for you.