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  Eat smart

Getting full on the good stuff

As kids, we were encouraged to join the clean plate club. Now that we're all grown up, we're told to eat less. How confusing is that?! But there is some good news: Being mindful of your portion sizes doesn't mean you'll go hungry. In fact, you can eat as much as you want.

Of course, there are foods to limit (we'll get to that later!), but you can literally stuff yourself on vegetables. Green beans, cauliflower, salad, carrots, asparagus, etc. are all low in calories, high in fiber and packed with nutrients. Eat as much as you can handle. It's the best way to fill up at meals, as long as you don't slather them in gooey cheese sauce. That's cheating!

When it comes to meat, exercise a little moderation. Meat shouldn't be the main event. Because of its density, meat packs a lot of calories, but doesn't really fill you up. When you do eat meat, make sure it's sourced from places that don't pump animals full of antibiotics and hormones. You can definitely find some well-sourced beef, pork, chicken, seafood and even goat at your local market.

Apologies to bread and pasta lovers: starchy carbs should be enjoyed in moderation as well. Those sneaky non-whole wheat pastas and breads take great delight digesting quickly to temporarily spike your blood sugar – and then make you hungry an hour later. Try substituting white flour carbs for a full-of-fiber bean dish. Try butter beans, black beans, chickpeas and lentils. You're probably thinking, "Beans are so delicious. What's the catch?" No catch! Just prepare and enjoy.

Lastly, the small stuff matters too. Resigning from the clean plate club can go a long way. By simply leaving a few bites on your plate, you're cutting out hundreds of calories every day. Eat slower and savor every bite. Not only is it more enjoyable, it gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re full. Even eating off a smaller plate works by making sure your eyes are never bigger than your stomach.

Get full with these good-for-you recipes: