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Thinking ahead and planning meals and snacks for yourself or your family is the key to healthy eating and also the best way to lose weight. Planning helps manage the budget, makes shopping easier and maximizes foods that are high in nutrients, but lower in kilojoules. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.

Some people prefer three meals without snacks and others like smaller meals with mid meals, like morning and afternoon tea, in between. Thinking ahead about mid meal snacks is important for healthy eating, but absolutely essential for weight loss. Well planned snacks can make it easier to limit portion size at meals by allowing a ‘top up’ between meals and also avoids being so hungry at the next meal that you eat too much or eat unplanned discretionary foods.

A healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products;
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts;
  • Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars;
  • Controls portion sizes.

For successful weight loss mid meal snacks need to be considered part of a meal saved for later eating and be a choice from the Five food groups. For example:

  • Breakfast: a small serve of wholegrain cereal, low fat milk and fruit;
  • Morning tea: a slice of fruit toast with a scrape of unsaturated margarine;
  • Lunch: a salmon wholegrain sandwich filled with plenty of salad;
  • Afternoon tea: a piece of fresh fruit;
  • Dinner: a small serve of lean grilled meat with plenty of colored
    vegetables and a jacket potato;
  • Supper snack: a fruit and low-fat yogurt-based dessert kept until later in the evening.

To lose weight, most people need to reduce the number of calories they get from food and beverages (energy IN) and increase their physical activity (energy OUT).

For a weight loss of 0,5–0,8 kilograms per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories.

In general:

Eating plans that contain 1,200–1,500 calories each day will help most women lose weight safely.

Eating plans that contain 1,500–1,800 calories each day are suitable for men and for women who weigh more or who exercise regularly.

Very low-calorie diets of fewer than 800 calories per day should not be used unless you are being monitored by your doctor.

Take a moment to feel good knowing that menu planning is making it easier for you to eat a healthy diet.

 

Empower your wellbeing and reconnect with your best you!

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