Make healthy choices that fit your lifestyle

Nutrition and physical activity in moderation for a balanced lifestyle.

The USDA food guide pyramid and MyPlate emphasize eating foods from all the food groups. No one food group is more important than another; you need them all for good health. MyPyramid and MyPlate serve as guides to let you choose a healthful diet that is right for you. Small steps to change will lead to long-lasting results. Making these healthy choices recomended by Michigan State University Extension that fit your lifestyle will help you do things you want to do.

Be realistic – Make small changes over time. Eat two servings of fruits and three serving of vegetables each day. Build up to this by enjoying one piece of fruit, a handful of raisins, several baby carrots or additional lettuce and tomato on your sandwich. To cut calories and fat, use cooking spray instead of oil. Trim fat from meat and remove skin from poultry. Boost your fiber with whole grain bread. For lasting results for maintaining or losing weight, reduce portions and move your body more. Your body needs as least eight cups of fluid each day. Boost your total by drinking a glass of water with each meal

Be adventurous – Expand your tastes to include a variety of foods. Eat a food you cannot pronounce. Find a new cookbook and try a different recipe each week. Plant some new vegetables in your garden. Blend up a calcium-rich smoothie, with orange or pineapple juice, mangoes and strawberry yogurt.

Be flexible – Balance what you eat with physical activity. Plan to counteract special meals with fresh fruits and vegetables and extra physical activities. Eat a light breakfast and lunch to plan for a higher calorie dinner. Split an order of fries or rich dessert with a friend. If you enjoy whole milk, balance with lower-fat food choices such as reduced-fat cheddar cheese, low fat sour cream or fat free salad dressing.

Be sensible – Enjoy all foods, just in moderation. When eating out, take half home and eat the next day. Order a café latte with fat-free milk. Eat slowly, it takes your brain about 20 minutes that your stomach has had enough. Take a break from fried chicken and roast, broil or grill instead. Load your baked potato with half the amount of sour cream or butter. Skip the bacon and special toppings on hamburgers and exchange fries for a side salad.

Be active – Start a daily goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity. If time is too tight, do it in 10 minute segments throughout the day. Park your car in the farthest parking spot and walk. Clean your house, vacuum, sweep and dust with vigor. Climb stairs, instead of taking the elevator.

Healthy eating can taste great and physical activity can be fun. Balance your calories with your physical activity. Remember if you overindulge, do not feel guilty, just balance your next meals with less calories and more activity.

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