What steps can I take to improve my diet?

There are some basic steps that you can take to improve your diet, both in reducing certain foods you currently eat and in increasing good foods that you don't currently eat. 
- Reduce the amount of sugary beverages in your diet, such as soda, juice and sweetened teas.
- Reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet, like white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes and snack foods like chips and crackers.
- Increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Switch to low/nonfat dairy products.
- Switch to whole grains for your breads, pastas and brown rice.
- Choose leaner cuts of meat like chicken breast, turkey breast and extra lean ground beef, and increase the amount of fish in your diet. 
- Snack on fruits, vegetables, portion controlled packs of nuts and nonfat dairy, like Greek yogurt. 
- Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables, 1/4 of your plate with lean meats and 1/4 of your plate with whole grains. 
Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine
Along with controlling your portion size and total calorie intake, the nutrition community widely supports these steps: -- Reduce saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium; -- Reduce refined starches and simple sugars; -- Increase fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and micronutrients; -- Replace “bad” fats with “good” fats.

Continue Learning about Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Losing weight quickly is OK as long as you do it safely, not through a crash diet. You can lose three or more pounds a week by burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day through eating less and i...

ncreasing your physical activity, you can lose about one to two pounds of fat per week. Dietitians recommend a daily minimum of 1,200 calories per day (a 200-pound person might need 1,400 calories). Anything less makes you lose muscle as well as fat, which slows your metabolism. Instead, minimize your intake of starches, added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and animal fat from dairy and meats. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, soy products, egg whites, skinless poultry breasts, shellfish and fish, nonfat dairy foods and meat that is 95 percent lean. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, and eat only from a plate while seated at a table.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.