It’s one of those things that people always say you should have, and always say they’re planning to do, and never really remember: balancing your diet. It’s not always easy with busy days and grocery budgets and different tastes. But in the end it all comes down to following a few general rules. Check out these 5 easy tips to keep in mind to help you keep up that balanced diet no problem.
1. Eat More! More Frequently, That Is
Flickr user Joshua Rappeneker
It sounds like doing the opposite, right? Eating more frequently to have a healthier diet? Well, in a manner of speaking, it is. Eating smaller meals in the morning, mid-morning, midday, mid-afternoon and at dinnertime is actually key to keeping your metabolism up and keep you from craving those overly sweet or salty foods that will throw off all your good work.
2. Don’t Cut Out Food Groups – Just Choose Wisely
Flickr user Bruce Tuten
No carbs, no meat, no dairy – all of those are diets that people swear by for losing weight and staying healthy. However, simply being smart about what foods within those groups is actually just as much of a healthful choice. Brown rice instead of white rice, whole grain cereal instead of Captain Crunch (unfortunately), lean chicken instead of fatty steak, yogurt instead of ice cream.
3. Watch Those Portions
Flickr user jaumescar
You’ve heard this one before, but it’s so serious it warrants repeating. We’ve been trained to think that a portion of food that’s more like a mountain on your plate is “normal.” It’s not!
There’s a simple solution to this: eat until you feel full, not until your plate’s empty. Doing this at home will help train yourself to eventually put less on your plate to begin with. Try ordering an appetizer at restaurants instead of a full entree – or better yet, split it with someone. Come on, tell us you wouldn’t feel better after only having half of that enormous plate of pasta.
4. Kickstart Your Metabolism In The Mornings
Flickr user Avid Hills
This one goes back to the ever-important first meal of the day. A healthy breakfast gets your day off on a good foot in so many ways, including setting the tone for your energy throughout the day. A solid breakfast with protein or whole grains will not only give you energy to get your day started, but will keep you full and energized enough to keep from falling prey to overeating at lunch or scarfing down on your deskmate’s chocolate stash.
5. A Balanced Diet DOESN’T Mean Depriving Yourself
Flickr user bark
This is a big one, because it plays into how you view your diet psychologically as well as just what you eat. Indulgences like a piece of cake at a birthday, or a glass of wine after a long day, or a side of fries at your favorite restaurant may not fall into your planned diet, but having them every once in a while won’t ruin everything. It’s all about keeping from falling into the habit of eating them every day. So don’t kill yourself over having a treat. Eating better is supposed to make you feel better, not deprived!
What other tips do you use for keeping up a balanced diet? Tell us in the comments below! And for all-natural snacks that you can always fit into a balanced diet, try out a Love With Food box!