Are you a grazer or a three squares a day kind of person? Whichever you might be, it really doesn’t matter. There is no one right way to eat or a set number of meals you should eat. If you are meeting your macro and calorie goals, then that’s all that matters. Last week we discussed the ranges your macros should fall within (45-65% carbs, 10-25% protein, and 20-35% fat). Where you choose to fall within those ranges is up to: 1) Your personal taste preferences, 2) how your body does with certain foods, and 3) what we see as we go through these weeks works best for your lifestyle and weight.
Another area to help you understand how much you should have is the MyPlate website. While not perfect, one area that is helpful is how much you should have from the following food groups- Fruit, Veggies, Grains, Protein, and Dairy. So this week part of your challenge will be to go to the MyPlate website to understand serving amounts from each group.
One tricky area is snacking. Snacking is fine and encouraged to help you spread your calories (and therefore energy level) throughout the day, to help keep your metabolism going, and to keep you feeling satisfied. Where we tend to veer off is how much and what we are snacking on. So first- how much? If you are having smaller meals spread through out the day (as in having 6 small meals a day), your snacks should be somewhere between 100-250 calories. If you are having more of a three meals a day approach, then your snacks can be 150-300 calories a day. Now, what’s a good snack? Overall, you want to make sure it has protein and fiber for satiety, a little bit of fat of taste and fullness, and some carbs for energy. But here are some specific ideas. Any of these would be good choices:
Avocado Yogurt Dip: This goes perfectly with some fresh vegetables!
Why It’s Important: As we mentioned- snacks are important for a variety of reasons. But it’s what and how much. So these two areas are what we are going to try to tackle this week.
Your Challenge: Go to the MyPlate page. Enter your gender, age, height, weight, and activity level. IGNORE THE CALORIES it gives you. We aren’t there yet and those aren’t best for our challenge. However, DO pay attention to the food group amounts. It will look something like the picture below. Then, as you track your food, start seeing if you are staying within these guidelines for each food group overall. From which groups are you missing servings? Use your snacks to fill in these ‘holes’ by choosing some of the healthy ideas listed above or some nutritious favorites of your own! If you need help with understanding this, be sure to talk with your health coach this week during your check-in!