The "Divide Your Plate" strategy

The "Divide Your Plate" strategy

Getting started on eating better would be much easier if there were a simple, "big picture" image of what a sensible eating pattern looks like. One method is winning converts and praise across the board-perhaps because of its utter simplicity. Call it the "Divide Your Plate" strategy.

  • Imagine a dinner plate and divide it in half. Fill one half with vegetables and divide the other half into two quarters.
  • Fill one quarter with lean protein, such as fish, skinless poultry, lean beef, beans or tofu.
  • Fill the other quarter with a grain-based or starchy side dish, preferably a whole grain like brown rice, whole-wheat pasta or a slice of whole-grain bread.

What this method lacks in precision it more than makes up for in good sense. If you focus on making most of your meals look this way, you'll automatically be following sound nutrition guidelines and choosing appropriate portions-without having to pull out a nutrition guide or a measuring cup every time.