This time of year many of us have a goal to eat more healthy. But what exactly does that mean? With the wealth of information available to us, it can be difficult to identify exactly what steps you need to take for a healthier lifestyle. The good news is that eating healthy may be more simple than you realize! In three easy steps you can be on your way to eating more healthy and reaching your goals.
Track what you are currently eating and drinking.
If you have had a difficult time reaching health or weight goals, it may be because you don’t realize how much you are actually eating or what food groups you are missing out on. Get yourself a food journal and start writing down everything you eat and drink. A calendar, a notebook, an app on your phone, or MyPlate’s SuperTracker are some different methods of tracking your food intake. Picking a method convenient for your lifestyle will yield the best results.
For more information and resources on tracking your food and drink intake, click here.
Find out what you should be eating and drinking.
MyPlate offers free customized Daily Food Plans. To get your personalized plan go to supertracker.usda.gov. Start by clicking “Log In / Create Profile” in the top right corner of the page. Follow the steps to create and account. Once your account is created, click on the “My Plan” tab at the top of the page. A personalized plan will be generated for you based on your personal information (sex, height, weight. etc) and your personal goals.
Your Daily Food Plan may be based on a 2000 calorie diet. It may be based on more or less calories. It all depends on the information and goals you provide as part of your SuperTracker profile.
For more information and resources on finding what’s right for you, click here.
Make healthier choices.
Take your tracking information from step one and compare it to your Daily Food Plan from step two. How do they compare? Consider asking yourself the following questions:
What changes can you make to eat more healthy?
- Do you need a better understanding of calories?
- Do you need to practice stricter portion control?
- Are you getting the foods you need?
- Do you need to make better choices when eating out?
- Do you need to cook more from home?
Do your health goals need to include physical activity?
- Do you know how much physical activity is needed to be healthy?
- Do you need ideas on how to include more physical activity in your daily schedule?
How will you keep track of your progress? Will you use MyPlate’s Supertracker or another resource?
- There are a variety of free or inexpensive online tools available to help you keep track on your journey to eating more healthy. It is most important that you find a tool that works well for you and your lifestyle.
What additional tools and and resources do you need to support your positive changes?
- Consider the following resources available to you free from MyPlate. (To view each resource in detail, click on the text in blue.)
- Food-a-Pedia – Look up nutrition info for over 8,000 foods and compare foods side-by-side.
- Food Tracker – Track the foods you eat and compare to your nutrition targets.
- Physical Activity Tracker – Enter your activities and track progress as you move.
- My Weight Manager – Get weight management guidance; enter your weight and track progress over time.
- My Top 5 Goals – Choose up to 5 personal goals; sign up for tips and support from your virtual coach.
- Groups – SuperTracker groups allow groups of people to use SuperTracker together.
Follow these three steps and you will be well on your way to eating more healthy this year. To get started, try a healthy dinner tonight. Enjoy!
Click on the recipe card for a printable version.
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant
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