Like most people, you probably think of dieting as something boring, and restrictive, and always leaves you feeling hungry. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! Eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean depriving yourself of your favorite foods. In fact, it can mean enjoying them even more. We’ll discuss making healthy eating habits work for you, from general practices to more honed tactics for those with dietary restrictions. So whether you want to follow a low-FODMAP diet plan or simply add more veggies to your plate, we’ve got you covered.
What Does ‘Healthy and Balanced’ Look Like?
Okay, first things first: What does “healthy eating” even mean? Does it mean you have to eat kale and drink green smoothies all day long? (The answer is no, by the way.)
A healthy and balanced diet looks different for everyone. Still, some general guidelines can help you make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. For example, if you have no food restrictions or allergies, you should aim to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and lean protein, and whole grains. It’s also important to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks.
Of course, there’s no need to be too rigid with your diet — everything in moderation! — but following these guidelines will help you ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and happy. So let’s delve a little deeper.
1) A Balanced, Healthy Diet Is Sustainable
A sustainable diet is one that you can maintain for the long haul. Why is that important? Fad diets and quick fixes might help you lose a few pounds in the short term, but they’re not sustainable. Eventually, you’ll return to your old eating habits, and the weight will come back. And then some. Research shows that crash dieting can negatively affect metabolism resulting in greater weight gain later in life.
A sustainable diet is something you can stick to without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of or going hungry. It’s about making intelligent choices and finding balance. For example, if you love pasta, you don’t have to give it up completely — just switch to whole wheat pasta and pair it with healthy protein and vegetables. And speaking of vegetables, they should be a big part of your diet no matter what, but you can find different ways to include them, such as in sauces, breakfast smoothies, or side dishes.
The Mediterranean diet, currently ranked the number one diet globally, is an excellent example of eating sustainably and healthily. This diet is based on the traditional eating habits of people living in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece. They are known for their long life spans and low rates of chronic disease. If you’re keen to start a new way of eating like this, using a Mediterranean diet meal delivery service is ideal. This way, you get the ingredients you need without worrying about what to cook, and you can be sure everything is healthy and balanced.
2) A Balanced, Healthy Diet Is Consistent
When it comes to eating a balanced and healthy diet, consistency is vital. Like with any other goal in life, if you want to make lasting changes, you need to develop routines that stick.
One way to do this is by meal planning and prepping ahead of time. This will help you stay on track during busy weeks when you might be tempted to order takeout or eat unhealthy convenience foods.
Another helpful tip is to make use of meal delivery services. These can save you time and money while still providing healthy and delicious meals that fit into your diet. Remember the super popular and healthy Mediterranean diet we just mentioned? Well, Mediterranean meal delivery services are becoming increasingly popular, and for a good reason. They’ll keep your routine on track and make it easy to eat a balanced and healthy diet.
3) A Balanced, Healthy Diet Includes Variety
When it comes to eating a balanced and healthy diet, variety is key. That doesn’t mean you need to eat a different meal every day. Although, that would certainly be one way to mix things up. Instead, it means you should include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your diet.
Foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, while whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and fiber. Lean protein sources — such as chicken, fish and tofu — are another vital component of a healthy diet. They help build and repair muscles.
So go ahead and mix things up at mealtime — your body will thank you for it.
4) A Balanced, Healthy Diet Involves Moderation
As we mentioned earlier, everything is in moderation. While eating healthy foods is essential, it’s also important to allow yourself the occasional indulgence. No food is inherently good or bad, and our relationship with food determines this. If we deprive ourselves of all the foods we enjoy, we’re more likely to binge on them later. However, if we allow ourselves the occasional treat, we can structure a balanced and healthy diet.
The aim here is balance. By including both healthy and indulgent foods in our diet, we can maintain a healthy lifestyle without feeling deprived. So go ahead and enjoy that slice of cake — be sure to eat your vegetables, too.
Believe in Yourself
We hope that you found these tips helpful and that they will help you on your journey to a healthier diet. Making changes can be tricky, but we believe in you, so we hope you believe in yourself. And remember: It’s always best to make small changes that you can stick with rather than trying to overhaul your entire diet overnight. Aim for variety, moderation and consistency, and before you know it, healthy eating will become second nature.