Moving toward a balanced diet

Teenage girl thinking about dietary choices

By Crystal Johnson

Stuttgart Army Health Clinic

  • Determine if your diet needs revising. Start with the USDA Dietary Guidelines or My Plate Method to determine if you’re getting the recommended amount of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and fat.
  • Find out how many calories you need each day. Use a calorie estimator or multiply your weight in pounds by 10 for women, 11 for men. This provides an estimate of the number of calories required to maintain your current weight. Should you desire to decrease your weight by one pound per week just subtract 500 calories per day.
  • Keep track of your eating. Keep track of your meals and snacks using a free mobile app, like My Fitness Pal, on your computer or smart phone. This will give you information to help determine what changes may be beneficial.
  • Make small changes. Small and reasonable changes are more effective and lasting. For example, if you usually skip breakfast, make it your goal to eat something each morning, even if it’s just a slice of toast with peanut butter or a container of Greek yogurt. Skipping meals can actually slow metabolism, which can hinder fitness and weight loss goals.
  • Add rather than subtract. If you don’t know where to start, try adding something healthy to your diet rather than taking something away. For example, eat a side salad before a meal or add a vegetable at lunch. Adding something healthy will help fill you up on nutrient dense foods so there’s less room for the less healthful choices later.

People interested in working with the Stuttgart dietitian can schedule a meeting through the appointment line at DSN: 590-2900/civ. 06371-9464-2900; or directly with Johnson at DSN: 590-1744/civ. 06371-9464-1744.