Following a balanced diet is an excellent way to stay fit and healthy. This kind of a diet, as the name suggests, contains a well-balanced amount of food in certain proportions that will provide you with all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need. In fact, one of the best things about a balanced diet is that it doesn’t call for a huge change in your lifestyle. It’s all about learning what kind of food your body needs in order to function well and even facilitates a healthier relationship with food.
What is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet is one that comprises a sufficient amount of the nutrients that each of our bodies needs in a day. This includes six essential nutrients in certain specified quantities – carbohydrates, fats, protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Maintaining this kind of a diet leads to better health and gives your body the ability to resist or fight diseases. Some people even find themselves feeling far more energetic than usual when they’re following a balanced diet.
How do you maintain it?
With our busy lifestyles, it often becomes difficult to develop and maintain a new habit or diet. But remember, this is a diet that is going to be extremely beneficial for you in the long run. So, you must ensure that you do all that you can to maintain a balanced diet.
While you may be eating balanced meals throughout the day, here are a few tips to keep you going:-
- Do not skip meals
No, you do not lose weight faster by skipping meals. If anything, skipping a meal can make you feel hungrier and you may tend to overeat during your next meal. So, never skip any meal. Doing this will also bring down your rate of metabolism. A healthy diet is when you eat three balanced meals in a day, with about two healthy snacks between those meals.
- Have simple meals
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating fancy! There are lots of simple ways in which you can prepare good, healthy food that balances out all the nutrients that you need. Keep your meals simple and incorporate lots of salads, fruits and vegetable juices in your diet.
- Know your enemies
Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste. Steer clear of things that are bad for you. This includes alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, refined flour and processed food. If you even call it a ‘cheat day’ and consume ‘just a little’, you may risk that turning into a habit!
- Keep a journal or download an app
By keeping track of what you eat and how much of it you eat, you will be able to maintain a balanced diet in a better manner. It will bring to light areas of improvement and give you ideas on how to make better diet choices going forward. You can pen these down in a journal or download an app, if that’s easier.
- Measure portion sizes
Your diet may be balanced, but you may not be eating the right portion sizes. You should be eating enough of a few food groups and not too much of others. So, make sure to monitor the food sizes that you’re going to consume. To do this, you can speak to a dietitian or nutritionist, who will tell you just how much of everything you need to eat.
You’re not going to magically becoming fit by only following a balanced diet! Good health also comes with physical activity. Exercising is a must! Every week, you must try to get in at least 150 minutes of cardio. You could go cycling, swimming or even jogging. You may even consider joining classes for Zumba, Pilates or strength training.
- Drink lots of water
Whatever you do, do not underestimate the importance of drinking enough water. It replenishes the vast amounts of water that our bodies lose each day. If you stay hydrated, your body avoids waste retention and it’s just wonderful for your digestive system. So, keep a bottle of water handy at all times. Studies say that you must drink at least eight glasses of water in a day. But if that seems like too much pressure, we suggest starting with six.
- Eat healthy snacks
Snacking is absolutely okay, as long as you’re snacking healthy! Let your kitchens be equipped with healthy snacks at all times, so that you don’t slip up and end up eating something unhealthy when you’re following a balanced diet. Look for high-protein options and food that’s easy to carry around. Think peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, carrot sticks and even almonds.
As long as you keep these tips in mind and do as much as you can to stick to your meal plans, maintaining a balanced diet will seem like a breeze!
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