Here are just a few basic nutritional guidelines that you can apply today to start eating a healthy balanced diet full of all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients your body needs for optimal well-being. If used with a regular system of exercise you can lose fat, increase your energy levels and give you a better sense of wellness.
1. Eat a mixture of foods, especially colorful fruits and vegetables for a wide variety of nutrients and a small amount of calories per serving. Furthermore condiments like low-sugar tomato sauce and salsa can help increase the nutrient content and taste factor of a meal. Fruits that are nutrient dense include raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, while other fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, and apples contain high levels of the soluble fiber pectin that helps slow digestion and gives you a sense of fullness.
2. Avoid “processed carbohydrates” (typically, this includes carbohydrates from a bag or a box). Processed carbohydrates usually provide too many calories and too much sugar. Processed carbohydrates swiftly increase and decrease blood sugar levels, resulting in hunger and tiredness.
3. Aim to eat 3 modest meals and 2-3 small snacks each and every day rather than 2-3 large meals. A sample meal plan would comprise breakfast, a small morning snack, lunch, a small afternoon snack, a sensible dinner, and a small evening snack. Smaller, more frequent meals help you utilize all nutrients better, maintain more vitamins, and control your blood sugar levels. Controlling your blood sugar is key to avoiding hunger and fatigue
4. Eat low-glycemic carbohydrates instead of processed carbohydrates. Low-glycemic carbohydrates include vegetables, oatmeal, and whole-wheat products, and are digested slower. That means your blood sugar levels won’t crash and you won’t get hungry or tired.
5. Fish, such as Sardines, provide omega-3 fatty acids that are associated with good cardiovascular health. Many Heart Associations recommends eating fish twice per week. Discuss with a doctor or registered dietitian about other sources of healthy fats if you don’t like to eat fish. A popular recommendation is to use a fish oil supplement.
6. Eat a small protein-based meal before going to bed. For example, cottage cheese mixed with protein powder.
7. Research has shown that the caffeine content of over the counter coffees can vary on a daily basis depending on water content and brewing time. One day you might get up to 600mg of caffeine in a grande coffee while on another day only 200mg (which is already a high amount)! Make a note of your caffeine intake if you use a food log (I recommend that you do) and be sure to take notice of the extra calories that are added to beverages in the form of cream and sugar – these add up really quickly before you know it and can have a negative impact on trying to lose fat.
8. Do the family grocery shopping on your own. Research suggests that adults spend more money at the supermarket when they shop with their kids and are more tempted to buy high-calorie foods. On your own you’re likely to just buy the foods on the shopping list. Buy fewer labels and fewer products containing sugar. This means buy as much whole raw foods as possible, the less refined packaged food you and your family eats the better.
Applying all of these tips or just a handful of them can really make a difference when trying to lose fat or looking to feel better. A good balanced diet is more than just about improving your appearance it is vital to maintain a healthy functioning body and mind. A healthy balanced diet can help to prevent illness, slow down aging, increase active, deal with stress and boost vitality levels. With these sort of benefits isn’t it time you changed your eating habits…your body will thank you for it.
Howard Standring is a Personal Traine