I love the new MyPlate graphic just released by the USDA! Having used a plate graphic for more than 30 years, I’ve helped people eat better and lose weight with the plate! In counseling consumers on how to live healthier lifestyles and prevent the leading causes of chronic health problems, I am a big believer that “a picture says a thousand words”! People respond to the simplicity of the plate!
The plate and cup convey food variety (5 food groups) to maximize nutrient quality at each meal; balance (proportionate mix of protein, carbohydrates, and hidden fats); and moderation (right-sized portions). All key principles of optimal nutrition conveyed in one concept: just look at your plate!
For those who want to manage their weight without counting calories, MyPlate makes it easy! Here are two additional tips:
- a plate with 3 oz of protein and ½ cup each of a starchy food, vegetable and fruit, plus 1 cup nonfat milk –contains just 400-450 calories! Season with 3 tsp of healthy oils. All of this food for just 500-550 calories. Perfect for weight loss!
- a plate with 3 oz of protein and 1 cup each of a starchy food, vegetable and fruit, plus 1 cup nonfat milk –contains just 600-650 calories! Season with 3 tsp of healthy oils. A delicious and satisfying meal for just 700-750 calories. This is ideal for man wanting to shed pounds, or for women seeking to maintain weight!
Try it out! Start with dinner this week. Plan meals that fit this visual concept. At the end of one week, count how many leaner, nutrient-rich, basic foods you have consumed! No doubt, you will have improved your diet tremendously, and may even lose weight!
For more than 90 meal ideas that fit the plate, please see my book The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution (2009)! And, check out the cover of the book!