The perfect diet, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, is a balanced diet with variety in the nutrients you take in.
Basically, to balance your diet is to balance your calorie intake. A normal person usually needs to consume 2,000 calories daily to maintain their weight but this figure can change according to each person’s age, gender and physical activity rate.
A balanced diet helps to ensure that the body gets the sufficient nutrients needed to function everyday. Also, a balanced diet can help keep diseases and infections at bay.
Thus, a balanced diet is the most crucial goal that you need to aim for while preparing for meals. Below, we've composed a guide of how much of each nutrient type you should be consuming while following a balanced diet.
1. Vegetables and fruits: ½ of the plate
Vegetables and fruits pivotal in a balanced diet. They are significant sources of vital vitamins, minerals and natural sugar. Not only that, they can be eaten as snacks at any moment of the day. While choosing vegetables and fruits for meals, remember to opt for a variety of colors. Dark green, yellow, orange and red are the best colors that offer good nutrients and make a beautiful plate at the same time.
2. Grain food: ¼ of the plate
White rice and flour are the most common foods for every meal in any continents, be it Asia or America. However, according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), refined white rice and flour provide limited nutritional value because the outer shell of the grain which contains most of the nutrient has been removed, what’s left just hold a bit of nutritional values.
In contrast, whole (brown) grains include these nutritious outer shells. Therefore, instead of eating white rice, try preparing meals with brown rice, you will surely see the difference.
3. Protein: ¼ of the plate
Protein is primary supplement for muscle growth and brain development. Lean meats like chicken, fish, beef and some cuts of pork are the best kinds of protein for your daily meal. Moreover, nuts, bean, tofu and soy-based products also provide your body with protein and other significant nutrients like fiber. You can also get your protein in the form of protein powders, which is especially convenient when you don't have time to prep a snack!
Dairy products should also be added in this portion to diversify your daily meal. Because dairy can provide calcium, vitamin D and healthy fat, you should prepare it in small portions such as pieces of full-fat cheeses, fat-free milk and yogurt.
After the meal, a cup of plain water will perfect your meal. Bear in mind to avoid sugary drinks because it just gives you empty calories and excessive accumulated fat.
In short, dividing foods into portions will certainly help you to control your intake, which is a necessity for reaching the goal of a balanced diet. Try arrange your plate today into portions and you will soon grasp the quintessence of balance.