Eating Balanced To Achieve Healthy Weight Loss
Our body needs a certain amount of nutrients each and every day to make sure we are healthy. Unfortunately, it seems that achieving this on a daily basis is incredibly difficult. This is seen mainly in the huge amount of overweight and obese people we see around us every day, who obviously eat too much. However, they not only eat too much, they also don’t eat the right things, having diets saturated with fats, sugars and salts. Those who then go on a diet in order to lose weight tend to cut as many calories as possible, which then leads to them not getting the right nutrients either. The result for both is an unhealthy body. The importance of eating balanced meals cannot be stressed enough.
What Is a Balanced Diet?
The first thing that you have to understand is what a balanced diet is.
“A balanced diet is a diet that consists of the right nutrients in the right quantities. Everyone’s bodies are different and may require different amounts or types of nutrients.” – Nutrionist Resource
The things that should be contained in such a diet include fats (the good kind), sugars (in the right amount), dairy products (or replacements for those who are lactose intolerant), fruits and vegetables (at least five portions per day), starches, salt and, finally, protein.
Fat is a controversial issue. When we try to lose weight, we start to see fat as the big evil-doer and we want to cut it out of our diet completely. However, our bodies need fat in order to function properly. Hence, it is about recognizing the good fats and eliminating the bad fats from our diets. There are actually four types of fats and the two healthy ones are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in krill oil, fish oil and other healthy-fat foods and supplements. The other two, trans fats and saturated fats, are the bad kinds and should be cut from your diet.
“Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol.” – Help Guide
Protein is mainly found in meat, but this doesn’t mean that it is the only source. This is why it is perfectly possibly to eat a vegetarian or even vegan diet and still get the right amount of protein in your diet. However, you do need to understand the amounts that you need and where to get these from. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of disagreement on how much is too much protein and on how much we actually need. Although there are some guidelines on minimal amounts of protein, the reality is that how much you actually need depends on you as an individual. It depends on your lifestyle, your weight and how much exercise you get, as well as on your goals (weight loss, muscle building, maintaining current weight and so on). The most important thing, therefore, is that you consume protein that is of high quality.
“Protein is a structural molecule assembled out of amino acids, many of which the body can’t produce on its own. Animal foods are usually high in protein, with all the essential amino acids that we need.” – Authority Nutrition
Fruits and Vegetables
The bulk of what you eat each and every day should be made up of fruits and vegetables. There really is no such thing as too much, although you do have to be aware of the fact that many fruits contain a lot of sugar. Hence, you cannot eat grapes all day every day and still expect to lose weight, for instance. Fruits and vegetables are key to making sure you manage your weight properly, while ensuring all your bodily functions are still in optimal condition.
“Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables also provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health.” – CDC
If you want to lose weight, you must cut your intake of calories. However, you must also remember that your diet should remain balanced and contain all the elements mentioned earlier. Generally speaking, if you start by cutting the trans fats and saturated fats from your diet, you will already significantly lower the amount of calories you consume every day. At the same time, you must look at what else you eat and ensure it contains all the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients required for a healthy body. In most cases, eating a healthy, balanced diet is sufficient to help you start losing weight.