When we think of healthy foods to eat, we immediately think about fruits and vegetables as the foundation of a healthy diet. We can’t rely on only produce to give us all our essential nutrients and protein. There are many other factors towards our diet that we need to keep in mind such as lean protein and whole grains.
Learn how you can balance out your diet in 3 easy steps:
Step 1. Foods are categorized in 5 main food groups based on their nutrient content. It’s necessary to your balanced health to eat from these five groups every day.
- vegetables and legumes/beans
- dairy and alternatives
- meats and alternatives
Step 2. Eat in moderation. This could be difficult and a huge test on your self control but it is extremely beneficial. You can easily decrease overeating habits by limiting the amount of food on your plate and opting for more veggies and grains instead of loading on extra unhealthy calories. (Tip: If you need additional motivation and/or guidance, writing a meal plan at the beginning of each week could be your savior. Planning your portions and which types of foods you will eat can significantly reduce the need to overeat and mindless munch.)
Step 3. Limit your liquid calories. Drinking alcohol and other liquids that have sugar and calories such as: beer, mixed drinks, wine, sodas, sweetened tea or juice could throw off your balanced diet.
- Juices that say they’re 100 % fruit juice still contain a high amount of sugar in them. If you’re going to drink juice, think about only consuming it occasionally and in moderation (for to six ounces).
- Eliminate sodas. If you’re drinking them for the caffeine try to stick with coffee and tea with slim milk and little to no sweetener.
- Limit the amount of alcoholic bevarages you have each week. The relatively high calorie count in alcohol can easily lead to weight gain and can produce nutritional deficiencies if consumed excessively. women should drink no more than 14 drinks per week, no more than three drinks in any one day, and have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
- A glass of wine or the occasional glass of sweetened tea is OK. Again, it’s important to enjoy these items when consumed in moderation.