When it comes to nutrition, it's easy to get bogged down in flashy headlines, measuring portions and the minutiae of micronutrients (e.g., vitamins and minerals). But if your goal is a balanced, healthful diet, the guidelines are pretty simple.
The Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School jointly created the Healthy Eating Plate to clearly depict what a balanced meal looks like. According to this guidance, at each meal, your plate should consist of:
1/2 vegetables or fruit (excluding potatoes)
1/4 whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, barley, oatmeal, whole wheat bread)
1/4 healthy protein (skinless white meat, white-flesh fish, eggs, plain yogurt)
While the visual is helpful, know that you don't have to divide your plate into three parts. A turkey burger on a whole wheat bun with a side salad would work, as would a homemade stir-fry of broccoli and peppers, tofu and brown rice.
I gave up counting calories and measuring portions years ago, but I frequently come back to this image to ensure I'm staying on track. And unless you are training for an athletic event, or trying to combat a gastrointestinal problem, this is a great way you too can ensure you're fueling your body with the energy it needs (and not just the treats it craves).