There is a lot of healthy eating advice out there today. It can be difficult to navigate, and even harder to figure out what will work for you. Should you go vegan? Vegetarian? Paleo? Or just simply cut back on red meat?
Well, Dr. Mehmet Oz is here to help you figure out the best plan for you, your body AND your lifestyle. Take this quiz to determine your eating personality, and learn how knowing what kind of eater you are can help you eat in a healthier way.
Eating personality: The picker or grazer
You're not big on meals, instead you mindlessly eat throughout the day. Though there is a healthy way to graze, many people wind up snacking on too many carbs or sugars and gain weight.
According to Oz, many grazers have a problem with low blood sugar and worry about where their next meal will come from. Here are a few tips for the grazers — to help them "pick" in a healthy way:
1. Put everything you want to snack on in a clear plastic bag.
Hoda, a self-proclaimed picker, did this in January and the results were eye-opening. You'll realize what you actually eat throughout the day.
2. Keep a food diary.
This serves a similar purpose: You may not realize how much you're eating in a day because a lot of it is so mindless. Keeping a log for just a few days will make you more aware of the calories you're consuming.
3. Don't multi-task and eat.
Be present. Focus on what you're eating. Also, try to have a glass of water before you eat something, it will slow you down.
4. Throw out sugary or salty snacks.
Replace them with things that Oz carries like unsalted nuts in 1-ounce portions and bags of cut vegetables like radishes and carrots.
5. Eat fiber at every meal.
Add more leafy greens, beans or berries to your diet. You'll feel fuller, longer.
Eating personality: The plate cleaner
You probably eat three meals a day and finish all the food in front of you. You're an "eat to live" type of person who prefers order, rules and perfection.
You might not be great at packing lunch for yourself, so you likely run into portion-control issues. Plate cleaners are good at eating when hunger strikes though. Here are a few tips to help the plate cleaners:
1. Chew each bite 20 times.
This will help you slow down while you eat.
2. When dining out, request no bread or chips.
Also request that the waiter puts half of your food in a to-go box.
3. Plan lunch ahead of time.
Plate cleaners love to plan what they are going to eat ahead of time. The problem is, the more food they are given, the more they eat.
Fill up what you're going to eat for the day in different containers. The largest one should be filled with fruits and vegetables that you eat at every meal. Medium-sized ones should contain your protein and the smallest containers should have your grains. If you are still hungry after you eat your designated portion, dip into your freebie bowl (high-volume snacks that are low in calories).
4. Downsize your dinner plates.
Dinner plates are now often around 11 or 12 inches in diameter. For the plate cleaner, larger plates mean they will eat more, so get some smaller plates. Measure out your portions with measuring cups or a scale so you learn how many servings you're getting.
Eating personality: The night owl
If you're a night owl, you like to save your calories for a big, hearty dinner. When your metabolism slows down at the end of the day, you load up on carbs and fats. It may help you unwind after a like day, or be a source of stress relief.
This habit can lead to emotional eating and weight gain. Dr. Oz recommended you take control of this habit by trying "protein stacking," where you eat small servings of food and stack a little more food after each serving.
Start with a small snack in the morning such as a hard-boiled egg. For lunch, have a Greek yogurt with berries, which contain complex carbs along with protein to keep you satisfied. As a pre-dinner snack, have an apple with peanut butter or almonds (a mix of protein and complex carbs). At dinner, you can still enjoy a larger meal without feeling the need to binge eat or overindulge.
Here are a few more tips:
1. Have a snack before dinner.
About 30 to 45 minutes before you sit down for a big meal, have a snack, like a yogurt or serving of nuts. By the time dinner rolls around, you won't be starving and you'll eat less.
2. Try a healthier dessert.
Night owls like to have sweets after dinner. Frozen grapes are a great low-calorie treat that can satisfy your sugar craving. Tea is also a good choice since it will make you crave a snack less.
3. Carry healthy snacks with you during the day.
Just like the grazers, you should stock up on proportioned nuts or veggies during the day.
If you're a night owl, tune in tomorrow for more tips from Dr. Oz or visit his website.