The Schmooze

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts on Food Choices

This week I am going to share with you the top 5 Do and Don’t rules I personally follow when it comes to what and how I eat. These are the same rules I give to and encourage all of my clients to follow on a daily basis.

I have come up with these rules as a guideline to help make better choices throughout the day. By following these rules my diet is high in variety, adequate nutrients, and hydration while staying low in saturated fats, cholesterol and calories.

Here are my top 5 daily DO rules to follow:

1. DO Eat 3 or more colors with each meal and 2 or more colors with each snack

Foods come in a variety of colors and each color has different nutritional benefits. To ensure optimal health choose foods rich in colors and eat various colors throughout your day. Get at least 3 colors in each meal and at least 2 in each snack.

2. DO Eat protein and vegetables and/or fruit in every meal and snack

Eat at least 1 ounce of lean protein, at least 1 serving of vegetables and/or 1 serving of fruit with every meal and snack to ensure you are getting enough protein, vegetables and fruit throughout your day. Lean protein as well as vegetables and fruits are both lower in calories and fat and high in nutrients.

3. DO Hydrate

Be sure to drink plenty of no calorie fluids such as water, seltzer, decaffeinated teas, coffee and broth throughout

your day. Hydration is super important in keeping the body temperature, metabolism and digestion regulated.

Also eat foods rich in hydration such as fruits, vegetables, milk, smoothies and soups.

4. DO Measure, weigh or estimate

Be sure to measure, weigh or estimate your portions. Use measuring cups, food scales or nutrition labels to portion out your meals and/or snacks. Once you know what a portion looks like you can estimate by eye, but, it is a good idea to still measure or weigh once in a while to make sure you’re estimating correctly.

A good way to portion out a meal is by separating your plate into 2 halves. 1/2 of your plate should contain vegetables or combination of vegetables and fruit. The other 1/2 of your plate should be split evenly between lean protein and whole grains.

5. DO Eat whole grains

This is a really important rule. Grains are not our enemies but, the amount and type of grains are. Be sure to eat whole grains. Switch out your refined grains for whole grain varieties. There are so many great sources of whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, quinoa. Eat whole grains on a daily basis in at least 2-3 meals a day. Be sure to use portion control here as grains are more calorie dense and easy to overeat. Do not eat more than two servings in any one meal or snack.

Here are my top 5 daily DON’T rules to follow:

1. DON’T Repeat foods

Avoid repeating foods throughout the day. This will encourage variation in your diet and give your body nutrients from various foods and food groups. For example, if you eat eggs in your breakfast, DON’T eat eggs again in another meal or snack that day as your main protein, choose another source of lean protein instead. Do this with all food groups including healthy fats, grains, fruits and vegetables.

2. DON’T Eat deep fried foods

Stay away from deep fried foods. They are saturated with oils and therefore high in fat and calories.

3. DON’T Eat creamy sauces or soups

Any sauce that contains a creamy base or texture will be high in saturated fats and calories because the main ingredient will most likely contain whole milk, cream, half and half, butter or other high fat substance.

4. DON’T Eat refined grains

Avoid as much as possible all refined grains such as white bread, pasta, crackers, cakes, cookies, etc. These items are missing the nutrient you will find in whole grains providing your body with nothing more than empty calories. Many of these items are also high in fats, refined sugars and/or preservatives that have been added during processing.

5. DON’T Eat refined sugars or artificial sweeteners

Try to look for items that are either unsweetened or sweetened naturally with fruit, raw honey, or other more natural sweetener. Best to start with unsweetened varieties of food and sweeten yourself with a more natural source. Stay away from artificial sweeteners, although low in calories, artificial sweeteners are an unnatural product and it is best to avoid.

Follow as many of these rules on a daily basis as possible. If you follow all rules, all the time, chances are you will be forced to make healthier conscious choices.

To help remind you of these rules print out the image above, cut and fold in half. Take this along with you in your purse or wallet to glance at throughout your day. When making your meal choices see how many of these rules you can follow.

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