Helpful Tips for a Balanced Diet
When it comes to exercise and diet, you hear the word balance a lot. In order to best achieve a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the habits you create must be sustainable. It is very difficult to stick to something long term if you make that something too drastic or extreme – which is why it must be “balanced”. Making healthier choices more often is what this means, not cutting cake or chocolate. Southwest Myofascial Release has provided the following tips so you don’t get off track with a balanced diet because we know it is not an easy task to maintain one.
Balancing Your Diet
1. It is not sustainable to try to live just on shakes by cutting out entire food groups; binges and cravings often happen when you deprive yourself of food. The more successful way to lose weight and keep it off is to make small changes that are manageable! You’re not looking for a temporary diet but a change in lifestyle.
2. With every meal you are eating fats, carbohydrates and protein when you’re having balanced meals. The macronutrients you will be getting like this will be adequate and you’ll stay fuller for longer. The best way is to consume a lot of vegetables with some protein like fish or meat and some carbohydrates like potatoes or rice. Certain minerals and vitamins are absorbed by our body when we consume healthy fats like oily fish, nuts, olive oil, avocado, so be sure to make them a vital part of your balanced diet each day.
3. You can relax 20% of the time when you make sure that the other 80% of the time you are consuming healthy meals. It is the best way to balance out your diet – keeping what is called the 80/20 Rule. Yes, you can treat yourself to the occasional Ben & Jerry’s as long as you don’t go coo-coo.
4. When creating a healthy relationship with food, it is crucial that you not view food as being good and bad. Only when you have an allergy does food feel like the enemy, but there are still certain foods we should be eating less of.
5. You must not only be conscious of what you’re eating, but of what you are drinking too. The different drinks to choose from out there are so many, from energy drinks, to vitamin drinks, fizzy drinks, juices, smoothies, coffees and even alcohol! There can be a very high calorie count in a lot of these drinks, as not everything that is sold as healthy is actually good for us. We should always know what it is we are drinking. The majority of our daily fluid intake should be coming from water! It is so vital to drink water because the food we ingest is metabolized effectively by it and the chemical reactions that occur in our body are also aided by it. Drinking a minimum of 2-3 liters of water each day should be our goal.
6. Be more active with your body! Make the effort to exercise 5 times a week for half an hour, because everyone knows how beneficial exercise is. This doesn’t always need to be You don’t always have to opt for exercises that are strenuous, as simply a brisk walk would do. Exercise must not be seen as a chore; this is why you should get your friends involved with you in an exercise you all enjoy.
7. Keeping a food diary is a great way to track your daily food intake. Many apps are available to help you with this, and can even let you know the nutritional value of what you are consuming. You are able to better understand the macronutrient content of your food when you know what exactly you’re putting into your body, which helps you make the best choices. A qualified nutritionist or personal trainer can help you when you find that you are struggling to keep a balanced diet. So don’t you ever give up!
8. In restaurants and supermarkets today it has become easier to find healthier alternatives for maintaining a balanced diet for healthy eating. Opt for some natural, unsweetened yogurt or a handful of nuts with some fruit, instead of having sugar-filled snacks that are processed. Grab a tortilla wrap and make your own pizza base! You can create healthier versions of your favorite meals with the help of loads of recipes that are readily available online.
9. Whether your goal is to get fitter or stronger, build muscle or lose weight, or merely to be able to walk up the stairs more easily – always keep in mind why you made the choices and changes that you did and what your goals are! The key to achieving your goals is consistency, and to create new healthy habits you must have both consistency and dedication.
10. Whether just from family and friends or from a fitness or health professional, never be afraid to ask for help when you know you need it! The key to succeeding is having the support of others because it can be challenging when you’re making changes of any sort.
When you find out what works for you, it becomes so much easier to create a lifestyle with a balanced diet. Just be sure that you try and get back on track right away without being too hard on yourself if you ever slip up and make mistakes. Create a lifestyle that’s sustainable for you, and most importantly one that keeps you happy and takes you to your goals.
Written by Ozzie Luv for the patients of Southwest Myofascial Release.