Healthy Living

Healthy Living

Diet Tips from ACMC

New Year, New Diet: Measure Your Way to a New You

With the perennial resolutions to diet on the horizon, now is the time to start changing the way we think about eating.

Lori Gilhousen, RN, and a Certified Diabetes Educator with Ashtabula County Medical Center, said those serious about losing weight need to start watching food labels and serving sizes.

“You may fill your plate, and have 10 servings on it. That is not healthy,” she said.
Learning to cut back portions and the types of food we eat can be the first step toward a healthier lifestyle.

“Read the food labels, so you know how much each serving stacks up to you food plan a serving size is. Break out the measuring cups and use them. Learn to rate your plate,” Gilhousen said.

She said controlling salt, total carbohydrates, and fat are all important when it comes to weight loss, especially for people with diabetes.

For example, eating a diet rich in potatoes, corn, peas and beans may sound healthy, but they are all high-carb, starchy foods.

Instead, a person’s plate should have more green and multi-colored vegetables and fruits.

Gilhousen said people who load their plate by sight should make about half of it the green, non-starchy vegetables, with a quarter of plate for small starchy vegetable, a quarter of plate for lean meat / protein or small piece of fruit for dessert.

Controlling portions is easier at home, she said, especially when it comes to meat.

Steakhouses usually sell 6 to 24 ounce slices of meat, which are up to several times the recommended serving size of 3 to 4 ounces.

Gilhousen said by eating meals at home a person can limit their meat intake to about four ounces per meal.

Limiting those portions of high-carb and high-fat and high-sugar items can also be done easier at home.

A recent news story about chefs’ and celebrities’ cookbooks reveals that restaurants focus more on taste than the healthiness of a meal. Many of them load items up with salt, sugars, butter or other types of fat to make them taste good.

By staying at home for meals, and limiting pre-processed foods, a person can limit the unhealthy items that go into their food.

Since each person’s nutritional requirements are different (based on age, gender, height and weight) meals can be tailored to the needs of each family member.

The United State Department of Agriculture’s website features a program to help a person calculate the best percentages and servings needed to maintain weight, or to lose it. Visit for details.

The Registered Dietitians of ACMC’s Nutritional Services Department provide nutrition counseling with a physician referral. Learn more about nutritional counseling at ACMC.

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