What to expect
We’ve established the importance of eating vegetables. In addition, one fourth of your plate should contain lean protein sources such as lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, fish, chicken, pork, eggs, nuts and seeds, or beans if you are having a meatless meal.
Another section of your plate should have carbohydrates such as whole grains (bread, brown rice, quinoa and whole grain pasta); starchy vegetables such as corn, white and sweet potatoes; beans (except for green beans because they are nonstarchy); peas; and winter squash. Fruit and dairy products are also sources of carbohydrates and can be used to fill that portion of your plate.
This plate applies to any meal. Think about a spaghetti dinner – a quarter of your plate pasta, a quarter meat sauce and the other half of your plate should be filled with veggies. Put that salad on the plate instead of in a bowl to the side.
If you are eating a sandwich, your whole grain bread takes up the carbohydrate section, turkey is in the protein section and half your plate needs to be vegetables – add veggies and dip or a side salad. There is no room on the plate for chips even if they are baked.
Remember to monitor portion sizes. Your plate should be no more than 9 inches in diameter, or the size of an old-fashioned paper plate – not a big plate with several sections or the large plate you are served at a restaurant.
What to eat
Here is a suggested meal plan to follow for day 4 of the Sugar Shutdown. Please note you can make changes to fit your tastes, dietary and calorie needs. You may be running low on some ingredients. Here is your grocery list for the remainder of the Sugar Shutdown.
As always, our important reminders:
- Do not skip any meals. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Listen to your hunger cues. Eat until you’re satisfied, but give yourself a break before you start to snack to see if you’re actually hungry. (If you’re hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re probably hungry.)
- Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
- Eat snacks that have both a protein and a carbohydrate (nuts and fruit, hummus and vegetables, string cheese and grapes). This will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and help you stay full and keep cravings at bay.
- If you mix and match any meals, remember you want: A maximum of 2-3 servings of fruit daily. Watch your serving sizes and your snacks! 4-6 servings of nonstarchy vegetables. Half of your plate at lunch and dinner should be nonstarchy vegetables. If you can get them in at breakfast too, the more the merrier. Snack time is an easy spot to get another serving in as well. We encourage using leftovers, especially at lunchtime!
1 piece 100% whole-wheat toast
Sautéed peppers and onions
Optional: ¼ cup cheese
Blueberries and yogurt with slivered almonds on top
2 cups of romaine lettuce
3-4 ounces grilled salmon or chicken
Toppings: cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, sunflower seeds, walnuts and mandarin oranges
Dressing: Olive oil balsamic vinegar
Edamame and an apple
4-6 ounces lean ground beef or ground turkey breast
Tomato basil sauce (look for 3 grams of sugar or less)
1-cup 100% whole-wheat pasta or experiment with spaghetti squash! (It is a great vegetable alternative for pasta. Just cook it and add some olive oil and any seasonings you would like.)
1 cup steamed broccoli
Remember you can save leftovers for lunch tomorrow – using leftovers eliminates food waste, and saves time and money.
How you should be feeling today
You’re almost halfway there! You’re probably getting excited to be so close to this milestone. Congratulations for making it this far. Don’t forget to motivate yourself with positive self-talk and nonfood rewards to stay strong. The battle is nearly half won. You may be feeling like there is no end in sight, but think about it as being halfway to a better life with more energy, stamina and an overall healthier you, along with an improved mind, body and soul.
Meditation, meditation, meditation. This experience is not only about your physical health, but your mental and emotional health as well. Meditation and yoga are great ways to do that. Try a yoga class at a physical location in your community or at home with a video or YouTube. Yoga and meditation help to de-stress and relax you on a deeper level. This can also help with overcoming cravings. This is about being more mindful overall. Being mindful is a huge part of eating. Slow down when you eat. Try not to eat in front of the TV, at the computer or while driving. Put your fork down between bites and try to make each meal take 15 minutes to eat and wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. Make sure to chew your food well.
180,000 deaths worldwide may be attributed to sweetened beverage consumption.
Source: American Heart Association