Healthy and Active


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Here's what one starch exchange looks like: Tortilla, flour, 6 in. across Cereal, bran, ½ c. slice of bread, since all of these foods are on the starch list and have roughly the same amount of carbs, protein and fat. Similarly, in the example below, a small apple has roughly the same nutrients and calories as half a banana or one cup of raspberries, so you can exchange them in your meal plan. There is also a free exchange! Foods with fewer than 20 calories per serving and fewer than 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving are considered free. The AND recommends three free exchanges per day, regardless of your calorie level. A ½ cup of cucumber slices, a piece of hard candy, a ¼ cup of salsa and many other foods and condiments fall into the free category. Certain free foods are listed without a serving size. These do not count toward your daily limit of three free exchanges and can be enjoyed in moderation over and above that limit. These include: sugar-free gelatin, gum, salad greens, black coffee and tea. The most current version of the Food Exchange System features two additional categories that are not part of the TOPS recommended meal plan. The first is the sweets, desserts and other carbohydrates list, which includes sports drinks, meal-replacement bars Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice (1 oz.) and frozen yogurt. The second is an alcohol exchange list. TOPS does not have tools for tracking these items, because we advise you to enjoy them only in moderation, if at all, when trying to manage weight. That's because sweets and alcohol are generally high in calories but low in nutrients. Helpful Tools to Use You can follow the sample meals beginning on the next page. Additionally, My Day One, a free booklet that every member receives when joining, includes Mix and Match menus— in the form of handy charts—based on the Exchange System. TOPS provides an in-depth look at the Exchange System and how to use it in our lifestyle guide Real Life: The Hands-on Pounds-off Guide. This book offers an introduction to the Exchange System that walks you through one exchange group per week. You can also find more information about the Exchange System at, the website of AND. Learning which foods belong to which categories takes a little time but is worth the effort. The important thing is to get started! n TOPS STAFF PHOTOs Here's what one fruit exchange looks like: Apple, small (4 oz.) Banana, half (4 oz.) Raspberries, 1 c. HEALTHY & ACTIVE 2014 17

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