Lake Austin Spa Resort fitness director Lora Edwards, M.S.Ed., R.D., recommends devising meal plans using the Smart Foods table from Body for Life for Women (Rodale, 2005) by Pamela Peeke, M.D., M.P.H., a Shape advisory board member. The philosophy behind this program is to have a mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats in every meal so you stay full.
To create your own meals, choose one item each from Groups A, B and C, adding an extra serving of nonstarchy vegetables from Group B (like broccoli or carrots) at least twice a day. Be sure you're eating something every four hours or so.
Group A: Smart Proteins
Eggs, cheese and reduced-fat dairy
Cheese, light or fat-free, 2 oz.
Low-fat yogurt, 8 oz.
Whole egg, 1
Egg whites, 3 or 4
Egg substitutes, 1/3-1/2 cup
Lowfat cottage cheese, cup
Lowfat (1%) or fat-free milk, 8 oz.
Fat-free ricotta cheese, 1/3 cup
Fish (4 oz.)
Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)
Meat or poultry (3-4 oz.)
Skinless chicken or turkey breast
Lean beef or pork
Lean deli meat, such as ham
Soy foods/meat substitutes
Soy chicken patty, 1
Soy burger, 1
Soy hot dog, 1
Soy cheese, 2 oz.
Soy milk, 8 oz.
Soy nuts, 1/4-1/3 cup
Tofu, 4 oz.
Group B: Smart Carbohydrates
Vegetables (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw)
Potato, sweet (starchy)
Fruits (1 whole fruit or 1 cup berries or melon chunks)
Berries (strawberries, blueberries)
Citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit)
Dried fruit, 1/4 cup
Whole grain bread, 1 slice
Whole wheat bagel, pita or wrap, 1/2
Steamed brown rice, 1/2 cup cooked
Steamed wild rice, 1/2 cup cooked
Oatmeal, 1/2 cup cooked
Barley, 1/2 cup cooked
Group C: Smart Fats
Nuts: 15 almonds, 20 peanuts, 12 walnut halves (also can count as Smart Proteins)
Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
Canola oil, 1 tablespoon
Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon
1/2 portion of any Smart Protein and 1/2 portion of any Smart Carb
1 tablespoon nut butter on celery or on 1 sliced apple
Any nonstarchy veggie, anytime
1/2 portion of nuts mixed with 1/2 portion of dried fruit
1/2 whole wheat bagel and hummus
Junk Foods (eliminate or eat sparingly)
Processed foods: White sugar, white pasta, cookies, chips, pastries,
candy bars, soda
Processed meats: Bologna, hot dogs, sausage
Full-fat red meat, dairy and cheese (high in saturated fat)
Any food with trans fats