Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight

Healthy Eating, Healthy Weight


By Tamalynn Kirby/School District 51 Nutritionist




Balance is the key to enjoyable eating and maintaining a healthy weight. 


Here are some tips to help achieve that balance that I have been practicing (and I have lost almost 100 pounds through simple food and activity choices!). 


Balance calories eaten with daily activity

Calories do count. To keep a healthy weight, balance the calories from foods with calories burned in daily work and play. If you want to lose weight, do it the healthy way. Each day, decrease calories eaten and increase calories burned, even just by a little. For example , eating 100 fewer calories a day for one year can result in a 10 pound weight loss. If you burn an extra 100 calories a day for a year through increased activity, you could lose another 10 pounds.


Here is a simple example: If you drink a regular can of soda daily, chose the 12-ounce can instead of the 20-ounce bottle. The smaller portion will reduce calories by about 100 per day. Walk briskly for 15 minutes after work on the school track and for 15 minutes after dinner in your neighborhood. These two simple changes could result in a 20-pound weight loss in a year!


Balance meals throughout the day

Meals regularly spaced throughout the day are a way to balance eating. Some people find three meals and a snack, evenly spaced, are just the right fuel for work and play. Others find three small meals and three small snacks work better. The key is to watch portion sizes and avoid over eating.


Balance choices among food groups

Take a second look at your food habits. Are you leaving any food groups out of your daily food choices? Mix up the food groups between meals and snacks to have enough of each group.

  • Pick plenty of produce: 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
  • Grab wholesome grains. Include at least 6 servings daily, with half from whole grain choices.
  • Count calcium rich milk. Choose 3 servings of fat free or low fat milk products each day
  • Mix up meat, fish and beans. Consume 4-6 ounces of lean meat choices a day
  • Nibble on nuts. Grab a small handful a few times a week.
  • Savor a sweet dessert or salty snack. Eat these foods every once in a while, not every day.

When more of your plate is full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, there is less room for fatty foods, salty snacks and sweets.

Tamalynn Kirby is a nutritionist for School District 51.


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