Done Dieting? Do This Instead!

Done Dieting? Here is a guide to traffic light eating, an easy way to jump into healthier eating - Health Happens at Home

Tired of yo-yo dieting? Then jump start healthier living with Traffic Light Eating! When you drive a car, a traffic light tells you what to do. This same method can be applied to nutrition. Green means "go". Yellow tells us to "slow down" and red means "stop and think".


Green Light food help you "go".  You can eat as much as you want of these foods. Green Light foods are:

  • High in nutrients
  • Low in calories
  • Grown, not manufactured
  • Colorful
  • Often eaten raw

Green Light foods include all fruits and all vegetables.


Yellow Light foods are "slow down" foods. We can eat these foods daily but we need to watch portion size. Yellow Light foods:

  • Have more calories than Green Light foods
  • Usually have more fat or sugar than Green Light foods

Yellow light foods include: whole grain rice/pasta/bread/tortillas, eggs, lean red meat, poultry, nuts/seeds, olive oil, fish, cheese, yogurt.


Red Light foods are "stop and think" foods. Can you make a healthier choice or eat a smaller serving size? Red Light foods are:

  • Lower in nutrients
  • Higher in calories
  • Foods that contain artificial sweeteners 
  • Foods that contain hydrogenated oils (trans-fat)
  • Foods high in sugar
  • Foods high in fat

Red light foods include: cookies/cake/candy, frozen yogurt/ice cream, fatty meats, chips, white bread/rice, doughnuts/pastries, sugary beverages (soda/juice drinks), bacon/ham/hot dogs/other processed meats

Get a free printable about traffic light eating by subscribing below:

Check out this post for a video on teaching Traffic Light Eating to your children.

Have you ever tried "traffic light eating"? Let me know in the comments below.

Health really does happens at home,

Erin Marie

Content in this post was adapted from L.E.A.N Start Workshops developed by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. This was originally posted in the Nutrition Nibbles Newsletter. Subscribe in the box above to be among the first to get new content.

Posted on January 14, 2016 and filed under Nutrition Nibbles.