Your Health: Healthy eating plan

{}We may all have the opportunity of choosing which foods appeal to your palates.{}{}{}{} But, is that delicious looking rich food fuel for your body.{}{}{}{} So before you're tempted Registered Dietician, Leah Gates at UAB Medical West says train your mind and body.{}{}{}{} Gates says, "Training your body being aware of what you're putting into your body and how to fuel your body appropriately to make sure{} you're getting the adequate calories you need in a day and not overeating."{}{}{}{} Gates says, "Know that you want to have some carbohydrates but also to help keep you fuller longer, protein lean meats chicken turkey fish." {} Gates says, consuming a healthy balanced diet takes planning, preparation and practicing healthy eating habits before the holiday season arrives.{}{}{}{}{} Gates says, "Start practicing healthy eating tips now{} before your busy times. Making sure you're looking at portion control in your serving sizes.{} Making sure you become aware of the healthy foods your body needs like fruits vegetables protein healthy fats. Making sure you are mindfully thinking about the foods that will help your body versus foods you can not eat like sweets cake candy."{}{}{}{} A tried and true strategy-- counting calories and controlling food portions.{}{}{} Leah Gates uses these food models to show and explain appropriate portion sizes.{}{} Gates says, "The big thing with meat{} four ounces is one serving size so about the size of the palm of your hand and with carbohydrates and your starchy vegetables a half a cup.{}{}{}{} This is showing you a half a cup of potatoes, a half a cup of peas."{}{}{}{} The size and choice of your beverage matters too.{}{}{}{} She has a vial of sugar.{} Gates tells us this is how much unhealthy sugar is in a 12 ounce soda or drink.{}{}{}{}{} Besides sugar, be aware of how much unhealthy fat{} or salt you eat especially when you choose fast foods.{}{}{}{} She shows us how much unhealthy fat can come with skinless chicken.{}{}{}{}{}{} And{} imagine how much sodium you consume when you choose to eat two slices of ham. {}{}{}{} This is the salt content in just three ounces of ham.{}{} {}{}{}{}{} Gates has some advice for people who decide now to change their unhealthy habits for their health sake.{}{}{}{} Gates says, "I encourage people to start early pick a couple of things they want to change in their diet.{} Don't try to change anything else until you've met your goal.{} Chose realistic goals that you know you can meet, give yourself a time frame.{}{}{}{}