A well-balanced diet is one of the three pillars of effective weight loss with the other two being a regular exercise program and a healthy lifestyle. When we speak of a well-balanced diet, we refer to the kind where healthy servings of healthy food items like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean meat, fishes and low-fat dairy products are present. These food items contain all the essential macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that the body requires to stay healthy.
It cannot be overemphasized that starvation diets are a big no-no in healthy, safe and effective weight loss. These diets literally starve the body of at least one of the nutrients, which does not bode well for good health. Keep in mind that all of the macro and micro nutrients perform critical functions on their own as well as in conjunction with the others. For example, carbohydrates are necessary in energy production on its own as well as essential in the synthesis of proteins and fats.
The most popular examples of these starvation diets are the low-calorie, low-protein, low-carbs and low-fat diets as well as the semi-liquid to liquid diets using food items like grapefruits. Just what are the dangers of these diets?
Let’s take the low-fat diets. The rationale behind these diets is that fats are the reason behind a fat body. Thus, taking out most of the fat sources in the diet means lesser fat on the body and lesser pounds to shed.
But fat is very important in the maintenance of good health. Take note that fat is critical in energy production, protein synthesis and nutrient distribution, among other functions. If your body is severely deprived of fats, you will suffer side effects including lower levels of energy.
Again, a well-balanced diet is the best approach to take in weight loss. Your body will still get the right quality and quantity of macronutrients and micronutrients, thus, ensuring its good health. You will then be able to sustain the activities necessary to lose weight including physical exercises.
Think of it this way: When your body is fed with the right amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, among other food items, you have more physical energy to exercise, more immunity from illnesses, and more alertness to cope with the challenges of weight loss.
Here then are a few important tips to develop a well-balanced diet:
- Consult with your doctor. You will be made aware of special dietary considerations that your age, present health status and underlying medical conditions may warrant. You can then make meal plans best suited for your health needs.
- Look at the dietitian-recommended diet plans and then tweak the most suitable according to your needs and wants. Ask a dietitian for advice, which will go a long way toward a flexible, varied and balanced diet plan.
- Go easy on yourself. You cannot be expected to change a lifetime of eating habits in just one day. Take small but definite changes that you can live with instead of making big but uncertain leaps.
In the end, food is your friend, not your enemy, when you are losing the excess pounds on your waistline. Eat food but do so in moderation and you will find your body becoming leaner.