It’s hard to break old habits and start new ones. However, I quickly realized that if I wanted to get healthy and stay that way, that’s what I had to do. Figuring out what to change was my first step. Deep down, I think everyone knows that a healthy diet and exercise are the keys to success, but no one wants to admit it. I knew I had to modify my diet and start an exercise routine that I could stick to. So, I did some research to figure out what and how to eat. I learned that monitoring my serving sizes along with the carbohydrate, sugar, sodium and other nutritional values was the way to go. I used suggested nutritional values that I found in a Cooking Light Magazine issue and I’ve used recipes from them ever since.
For me, a 23 year old female, they suggest no more than 2,000 calories, 50 g protein, 65 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 304 g carbohydrates, 25-35 g fiber, 300 mg cholesterol, 18 mg iron, 2,300 mg sodium, 1,000 mg calcium. So, I kept track of what I ate and made sure I didn’t go over those values. Now that I’m used to it, I don’t have to keep count anymore.
Learning how to estimate serving size, say for a piece of chicken, is important too. When estimating meat, the area over the palm of your hand is equivalent to about 3 ounces, which is an appropriate serving size for meat. For snacking, one handful is equivalent to about 1 ounce of nuts or 1/3 cup of something like popcorn. You can find more estimating tips on My Food Diary.com
More helpful hints can also be found at ChooseMyPlate.gov.
It’s easy, so, give it a try. Good luck!