How to Eat a Balanced Diet

Reasonably so, there may be confusion on what to eat for a healthy lifestyle with all the nutrition information and advice circulating around the health world. But balancing the diet does not have to be a difficult math equation, and can equal a life of health and longevity with the following tips.

How to Eat a Balanced Diet 

Construct A Well-Balanced Meal

A healthful meal primarily focuses on whole foods, balancing it by…

…making half the plate filled fresh veggies.

Color half the plate with fiber-packed veggies, whether raw in salad for or roasted on the side. Various veggies may include broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes.

…offering fruits.

In addition to colorful veggies, offer fruits to the produce mix. Adding fresh fruits offers nutrients and natural sweetness, and may even dampen that pesky sugar tooth.

…selecting whole grains.

Select brown rice, whole wheat bread, and other whole grains to boost fiber and nutrient content. To keep carbs moderated, choose no more than two whole grain products.

…pairing fiber sources with lean protein.

Fiber paired with protein is one of the best combos to induce satiety. Aim for at least 20 grams of protein per day, which is generally supplied from a 3-ounce serving of meat. Find 11 sources of lean protein here.

…complementing with healthy fat sources.

Rather than consuming deep fried products, complimenting meals with healthy fat sources can assist in reaching satiety. It is important to remember they still are fat sources, though, and are dense in calories. So lightly stir fry with olive oil, sprinkle seeds onto salads, and snack on a small palmful of nuts for a healthy dose of fat.

Snack on Fiber and Protein

Along with consuming well-balanced meals, sensible snacking is encouraged. Snacks offering protein and fiber can help keep hunger at bay and lessen the risk of overeating come mealtime. Valuable snack choices include string cheese and whole grain crackers, Greek yogurt and fresh berries, cottage cheese and pineapple chunks, peanut butter and apple slices, and hummus and carrot sticks.

Avoid Oversized Portions

The overabundance of foods can offset balance and lead to overeating. To reduce the risk of oversized portions, use smaller plates and bowls and portion out foods before sitting down to eat. When going out to eat, reduce the temptation of devouring large entrees by selecting smaller size options, sharing a dish with someone, or splitting the portion and taking the other half home. If needed, use measuring cups for the beginning weeks until you get comfortable enough to eyeball the amounts.

Listen to Hunger and Satiety Cues

Listening to hunger and satiety cues not only helps to keep portions naturally in check, but addresses whether or not the desire to eat is truly based on hunger, a craving, or even boredom. Especially if new to the concept of intuitive and mindful eating, try recognizing pure hunger by distracting yourself. Still hungry? Grab a snack or meal, sit down, and pay attention to all feelings present in that moment. By building these skills, a strong foundation of food appreciation can develop, which may transpire into a healthier lifestyle. 

Allow Indulgences

Although consuming high-fat and sugar products is discouraged on a regular basis, foods should simply not feel off-limits or restricted, as feeling deprived of foods can heighten their temptation and desirability. So if craving chocolate cake, cut a small piece and practice the techniques described right above. Preparing such foods in your own kitchen, rather than purchasing packaged and convenience products from the store, allows ingredient control and can strengthen food appreciation.

Drink More Water

Not only does swapping out soda with water reduce sugar and calorie intake, but can help keep meals balanced by lessening the desire for seconds, larger portions, and ultimately, for overeating. Drink more water by consuming a glass before and with meals, keeping a water bottle conveniently on hand, along with these valuable hacks.

Eat with Balance

Eat with Balance… Literally! Balance by bistroMD is an a la cart meal delivery service, offering nutritionally adequate entrees filled with produce, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. But more than the diet is balanced, as receiving ready-prepared meals allows more time to balance other life priorities! For more information on Balance by bistroMD, click here.