What is a Healthy Diet?
Eating a balanced diet is not about rigid restrictions, staying unrealistically slim, or depriving yourself of the food you enjoy. It’s about feeling fantastic, having more time, improving your health, and enhancing your mood.
It does not have to be overly complicated to eat healthily. If you feel confused by all of the contradictory dietary and health recommendations out there, you’re not alone.
It seems you’ll find someone claiming the exact opposite with any expert who tells you a certain food is good with you. The fact is that while it has been shown that certain specific foods or nutrients have a beneficial impact on mood, the most important thing is your overall diet.
Where to Start
Healthy eating should not be difficult, but occasionally, sadly, it is. Given that eating is a necessary — and delicious — part of our lives, it shouldn’t really be a source of internal turmoil. But learning how to properly nourish the body with the food that it really requires can be challenging.
- Check your diet intake – Are you receiving the correct amount of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, protein, meat, etc.?
- Find out how many calories you need each day – How many calories are in your intake?
- Keep an eating list – Use iTrackBites to keep a food log to chart your meals and calories. This will provide you with valuable details to help you find out which improvements you can need to make.
- Make incremental changes: If you normally miss breakfast, for example, make it your priority to eat something every morning, even if it’s just a glass of orange juice or some yogurt. Small steps in the right direction can add up to big improvements quickly. Instead of subtracting: If you don’t know where to start, add something good to your diet rather than taking away something. Drink a glass of water before a meal, for example, or add some extra vegetables to your next meal.
- Think about what really motivates you: Remembering why you make good decisions will help you stay on track.
It can be useful to make a list of different reasons why you wish to become healthier.
Keep this list realistic and refer to it if you find you need a reminder
- Don’t have an ‘all or nothing’ approach: Black-and-white thought is a huge roadblock to maintaining a balanced diet and lifestyle.
One typical scenario is that at a party, you have a few unhealthy appetizers, decide to ruin your diet for the day, and continue to overindulge in unhealthy foods.
Instead of looking at the wasted day, try to put the mistakes behind you, and make healthier choices.
- Exercise and change diet at the same time: You may have learned that, when trying to better your health, you shouldn’t change too many things at once. This is a good idea, in general. Nevertheless, evidence shows that when you actively make improvements in both dietary and physical activity, the effects appear to reinforce each other.
Tips for Better Nutrition
Think of preparing a balanced diet as a number of small, manageable steps instead of a major dramatic shift to set yourself up for success. If you slowly and commit to pursue the changes, you’ll get a balanced diet faster than you expect. Here we give you a few more tips for better nutrition and getting your diet wonderfully laid out.
- Be careful of emotional eating or boredom nibbling. Find out what this form of eating causes, and keep yourself occupied during those impulses to mumble. Take note of the times you eat when you’re not very hungry. Sometimes we slip into emotional eating habits, without even knowing it.
- Keep hydrated: your body sometimes has a feeling of hunger when really it is telling you it’s thirsty.
- If you’re hungry eat a nutritious snack. You can end up consuming more food when you wait too long to relieve the nagging hunger.
- Prep for the week: Making nutritious meals available is one of the best ways of escaping the fast-food pit.
- Moderation is key: People sometimes think of healthy eating as a proposition of anything or nothing, but balance is a vital foundation for any balanced diet.
- Not just what you eat, it’s the way you eat: There’s more to healthy eating than food on your plate — it’s all about how you think about food. Good eating habits can be established, and it is necessary to slow down and think of food as nourishment, rather than just gulping in between meetings or on the way to picking up the children.
A full change in your diet at once can be a disaster formula. Instead, try incorporating some of the minor modifications in this article to make your diet healthier.
Some of these tips will help you maintain healthy portion sizes and others will help you add nutrients or adjust to something different.
Together, they will have a massive effect on making the overall diet healthier and more sustainable, without a drastic shift in behaviors.