MASTER THE BALANCING ACT
HOW TO ACHIEVE BALANCE IN YOUR DIET
Everyone’s talking about the benefits of a balanced diet but how many of us really know how to go about it? Here’s a few helpful tips on how to achieve balance in your diet, to get you on your way to healthy, happy without the headaches.
You’ve heard the advice to have a ‘balanced’ diet over and over again; It’s a popular nugget of information that’s for sure. Blogs, vlogs, magazines and many a health enthusiast churn it out eagerly. However, something they actually do far less often is provide us with an actionable plan of attack. A play by play breakdown of how to achieve balance in your diet would certainly be handy wouldn’t it? Luckily, you’re in the right place for just that…
First up, you need to learn to balance your fluids. Especially if you are a coffee addict or a tea lover. Don’t get me wrong, it’s understandable; Both taste great, are kind of addictive and give us that energy boost that we love and crave but if it’s balance we’re striving for, there’s a few cons to weigh up beside the pros here. Coffee, for example, though it can give you that energy boost, can also have side effects like headaches. It’s not much good having loads of energy if you’ve got a headache to go with it!
Telling you to cut out any caffeine-based fluids like tea and coffee would likely be pointless. It just isn’t a realistic for most keen caffeinators. Instead, find the balance. Consider replacing your morning cuppa with hot water and lemon, and a dash of honey. This kick-starts your digestion for the day ahead, giving you a healthy boost. A few hours later, then you can have your tea or coffee. Soft drinks should be substituted for something less sugary; Some people find sparkling water can satisfy that hankering for a fizzy drink but why not go a little more exotic and try 100% Thai coconut water?
Next up, your food. When the experts say ‘balanced diet,’, what exactly do they means? They mean that in any one day, you eat a little of all the main nutrients your body needs. This is often depicted with a round plate, sliced up into different portions. A typical ‘plate’ would give portions to fruit and vegetables, bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, meat and fish, and finally those oh-so-sugary, sweet and fatty foods we know are bad for us but really seriously enjoy anyway.
Of course, it is obvious that you need more of the fruit and veg than you do the unhealthy items! However, what is important to note is that those unhealthy things do have a place on the plate. Eating them is okay, just as long as you balance them with other nutritious foods.
The final point to mention is an interesting on; it’s intolerances. Every man and his dog talks about their intolerance to something these days but do they actually know what they’re inferring or are they just jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon because it’s “in”? For some people, the situation is so extreme the mere ingestion of a bite of a specific type of food can cause a horror reaction or series of uncomfortable symptoms. In these cases, intolerances are more like allergies. In the opposing corner are those people who have intolerances with relatively manageable side effects: feeling lethargic, bloated or head-achy are a couple of the many niggling irritations people might mention. So, it could be that they like to be gluten-free most of the time, to avoid feeling bloated. Again, managing this is a balancing act; for these people the occasional slice of pizza isn’t likely to kill you, you’ll just want to watch you don’t overload yourself breakfast, lunch and dinner or I dare you won’t be feeling to crash hot come bed time.