What is a balanced diet?
Whether you are trying to lose weight or build muscle, it’s important that you have variety of different foods to help you on your fitness or weight loss journey. Why is that?
Well, firstly, keeping variety will help you understand how your body responds to different food groups. This way, your habits can evolve based on what you know works from your experience.
Secondly, if you are on a diet and constantly eating the same foods each day and each week, you are much more likely to fail. Why? Simple: because you will eventually get bored and start to binge eat on the unhealthy foods like chocolates and crisps! This happens because you have deprived your body of the nutrients and minerals from other foods sources.
Let’s take a commonly prescribed daily diet plan to illustrate this point:
Meal 1: Egg whites and oats
Meal 2: Chicken breast/Salad
Meal 3: Chicken breast/ rice/ broccoli
Meal 4: Protein Shake
Meal 5: Lean mince/rice/ broccoli
Meal 6: Cottage cheese
This sample plan lacks fats, fibre and minerals, the nutrients our bodies crave. Furthermore, this plan is bound to fail because trying to stick to a diet this plain is boring!
ADD VARIETY to help you achieve your goals, for example:
Meal 1: Egg whites and Whole eggs / Oats/ Almond milk/ Blueberries/ Peanut butter
Meal 2: Chicken Breast/ Sweet Potato/ Mixed Veggies/Salsa
Meal 3: Lean mince/ Rice/ Spinach/ Coconut oil
Meal 4: Greek Yogurt/ Berries/ Whey protein/ Almonds
Meal 5: Turkey Mince/Sweet Potato/ Feta/ Coriander/Chili Flakes/ Mixed Veggies.
Meal 6: Almond Milk/ Casein Protein or Whey Protein/ Omega 3 oil *
*NB – this is not a ‘one size fits all’ diet plan! Always consult a GP or nutritionist before implementing new eating habits.
There is a massive difference between the first sample meal plan and the second one above. The second incorporates much more variety from different food sources for your body to absorb. This sample meal plan contains the nutrients that our body craves. Foods shouldn’t be plain and boring. If you’re getting bored of your daily eating habits, then something needs to change!
Essentially, I suggest eating the foods you like whilst making sure you achieve your daily macro- and micro-nutrient target. Don’t worry if you do have a biscuit or chocolate for a snack, you can always rectify it by eating a nutritious meal later on in the day just as long as your calorie target is met.
Balance is KEY for success…
VARIETY is the spice of life.