With the hectic pace of today's lifestyle, your many responsibilities in and out of home, and the lack of time and opportunity to dedicate to health and fitness, it can come as no surprise when the extra kilograms start to build up. This in turn will get you obsessed about getting in shape again.
However, help is at hand. You just have to follow the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations to reach your goal.
What are the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations?
1. Eat a variety of food: Try and include all the 6 food groups (grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans and oils).
2. Limit the amount of food you consume: Servings should be based on age, body frame and the level of physical activity of each person. In general, you can:
- Have about 6 servings of grains
- Consume 2½ cups of vegetables and 1½-2 cups of fruits
- Eat 5-5½ servings of meat and beans, and 3 cups of milk and dairy products
- Have 5-6 teaspoons of vegetable oils to be added in your cooking or incorporated in salads
3. Choose healthy foods from each food group
- Choose whole grains because they are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals (3 servings daily)
- Eat more fresh vegetables because they are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre which makes you feel full
- Eat a variety of fruits from each colour to get the different vitamins that you need
- Consume lean meat (beef or veal, skinless chicken breast, fish filet)
- Use low fat milk (1% fat) or skimmed milk. Also have low fat yogurt and cheese; these contain less calories and the same amount of calcium.
- Include legumes in your diet (lentils, chickpeas, beans) 2 to 3 times per week because they are nutritious and rich in fibre
4. Avoid sugars and sweets because they are rich in calories and poor in nutrients.
5. Perform physical activity daily and make it a part of your lifestyle.
Did you know?
The more active your lifestyle, the more servings of grains you are entitled to.
In order to know the exact number of servings for your weight, age and level of physical activity, visit the website www.mypyramid.com or consult a dietician to provide you with a balanced moderately restricted diet and follow up with you till you reach your goal.
For more information on the Food Guide Pyramid and the actual food portions in each food group, read:
What's the Food Guide Pyramid?
Source: United States Department of Agriculture www.mypyramid.gov