When talking about diet, the most common advice that one gets is to either eat less or avoid fat. And eventually, we feel overwhelmed with conflicting nutrition and diet opinions.
However, depriving yourself of essential nutrition and fats is not the solution, but balancing these nutrition’s in the right amount at the right time is.
To support a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to get the right type and amount of foods at the right time.
How much do you need daily, when is the best time to eat proteins or carbs and what should the portion size be – all these questions look very confusing. Isn’t it?
Do not get carried away with all these. Just to our fitness experts and get yourself a sorted balanced nutritional meal plan that matches your lifestyle requirements.
Further, read on to understand how a balanced nutritional meal looks like!
What is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet should contain different kinds of foods and nutrients in certain quantities and proportions so that the body’s requirement for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins and alternative nutrients is met. Besides, a small provision must also be reserved for additional nutrients to endure the short length of leanness.
A balanced diet should also offer bioactive phytochemicals like dietary fibre, antioxidants and nutraceuticals that have positive health advantages.
A balanced diet primarily focuses on providing all these nutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat along with micronutrients including vitamins and minerals) that your body needs. These nutrients play different roles in the smooth functioning of various body parts.
Let’s understand more about these nutrients:
Carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy. Carbs are hard to digest but they’re an important part of a healthy balanced diet.
Protein is the main component of all of your body’s cells, including your hair, skin and soft tissues. We burn more calories in digesting proteins than carbs.
Fats provide energy, store vitamins and synthesize hormones.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals are the micronutrients that support metabolism, nerve and muscle function, bone maintenance and cell production.
Minerals are inorganic and so minerals from plants, meat and fish easily find their way into the body.
Vitamins are fragile compounds and it’s difficult to shuttle them as they may be destroyed during cooking or storing. Vitamin A, E, B12 and D are vital and so is calcium and iron.
Healthy eating habits primarily consist of three main meals along with healthy snacking to curb cravings. This is important to keep your body running smoothly.
Ideally, breakfast should be the heaviest and healthiest meal of the day. However, due to busy schedules, you sometimes can just manage to gulp a glass of milk and grab a bite of toast.
But when you skip or gulp your breakfast, and take a quick lunch, your body eventually demands more in dinner and you end up eating heavy dinner. While dinner should be the lightest meal of the day, it ends up as an elaborate family meal.
Here’s how you can divide your meals for balanced nutrition.
A good morning meal should comprise three things – carbs, proteins and nuts. The right balance of these will allow you to eat fewer calories for the rest of the day.
Lunch should be a mix of high-fibre, starchy carbs and some good sources of proteins. You can also include some probiotics and fibre to complete your meal.
To have a balanced nutritional intake, pick your last meal of the day with a high satiating value that will keep you full for longer and curb midnight bingeing. For this, include vitamins and minerals in your dinner. Limit your carbohydrate intake but do not avoid it completely. Your body needs them to regenerate and repair itself during your sleep time.
Intermittent snacking is important
Healthy snacking is important as it fulfils the quick ‘pick-me-up’ need of your body. Eating small yet frequent meals is the ideal way to supply your body with the required energy. It does not mean you eat more but spread your daily requirements of nutrients throughout the day.
Fuel up at the right time
The timing of the meals plays an important role in the smooth functioning of your digestive system.
Ideally, have your first meal of the day in about one and a half hours after waking up. Further, keep at least a three-hour gap between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and evening tea time. Dinner should be taken two hours before your sleep time. This will allow your body to wrap up the digestion process.
If you need to lose weight or look fitter connect with 8 Fitness Tips to create a perfect weight loss plan as per your body requirement. Our well-researched and scientifically proven diet and weight loss plan will help you shed those extra kilos and develop healthier habits.