Updated: August 26, 2011

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.)

Catfish

Haddock

Salmon

Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster)

Tuna

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)

Artichoke

Asparagus

Beans

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery

Corn (starchy)

Cucumber

Green beans

Green peppers

Lettuce

Mushrooms

Onions

Peas (starchy)

Potato, sweet (starchy)

Pumpkin

Spinach

Squash

Tomato

Zucchini

Fruits (1 whole fruit or 1 cup berries or melon chunks)

Apple

Berries (strawberries, blueberries)

Citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit)

Dried fruit, 1/4 cup

Watermelon, cantaloupe

Whole grains

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

Avocado, 1/4

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

Smart Snacks

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

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