Eating a balanced diet is harder than it seems. You need an enormous amount of discipline to live healthily and keep your body in the best shape possible. It’s not enough to cut back on junk food and other unhealthy snacks. There is a need for you to reassess your eating habits and transition to a healthier lifestyle that would do your body good.
Don’t fret because this transition is not impossible to make. What you have to think about is your body’s health and wellness. You’re on your way to becoming a healthier version of yourself with our help here at Ashker’s!
Browse through the article and you’ll find plenty of ways you can start your healthy lifestyle today.
What should your plate look like?
To start your journey to a healthier lifestyle, you must first assess what your plate looks like. If your plate has plenty of meat, fats and junk in them then you have to reevaluate your whole shopping list!
Here at Ashker’s, we’ll help you to get started. Don’t feel overwhelmed because all you have to do is check whether your plate is optimised for a balanced diet. If it’s not yet to that level then this article is for you.
Here is what a balanced diet should look like on your plate:
Vegetables and fruits
Half of your plate should have vegetables and fruits on it. These should be non-starchy vegetables. A salad will also do for this part of your plate. To make things a bit more fun and entertaining is to experiment with fruits and vegetables of varying colours and tastes. This should help you get more acquainted with the idea of converting to a more fibrous diet.
Don’t skip on the fruits and vegetables even if you’re not a fan of eating them! Always remember that they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. These components of fruits and vegetables can help your body become healthier than it is at the moment. Moreover, you’ll get the needed nutrients to have a more functional and fulfilling life.
Also, remember that potatoes don’t count as nutritious vegetables because they have a negative impact on your heart. Adding french fries to your plate doesn’t contribute to your healthy lifestyle.
Only a quarter of your dinner plate should be dedicated to protein. This is more than enough to fulfil your energy needs for the time being. Overdoing protein will leave your body feeling bloated. Moreover, it wouldn’t be able to process all the nutrients that you’ve eaten if it fills more than a quarter of your plate.
This doesn’t mean that you should skip on protein altogether. Always keep in mind that protein provides the body with amino acids that help build your muscles, bones and skin. This is also your main source of energy which is why you need to eat protein to live your day-to-day life.
Aside from all of the aforementioned benefits, protein-rich food helps keep your stomach feeling full. This means that you can avoid overeating by filling a part of your plate with food high in protein including chicken, lean steak, tuna, tofu and legumes. Moreover, avoid processed and red meats since they don’t have as much nutritional value as you might think.
Many diet fads often say that you should cut your carbohydrate intake. This shouldn’t be the case because carbohydrates are another source of energy for your body. What you should be doing, however, is to cut down on your intake since this type of food should only occupy a quarter of your plate.
There are plenty of healthy carbohydrate sources available for you in the market. These include wholegrain, basmati rice, quinoa, pasta, sweet potatoes and legumes. These have a higher fibre content with a lower glycemic index which means that it helps keep your energy levels longer without having to increase your blood sugar level.
Don’t completely cut off carbohydrates in your life. The key here is moderation. That’s the reason why this type of food only takes up a quarter of your plate. Moreover, make sure that your carbohydrates are healthy alternatives so you wouldn’t bombard your body with high sugar levels.
Dieting fads to avoid
Dieting is not inherently bad if you know what you’re doing. Often, you need a consultation with a licensed nutritionist so you wouldn’t accidentally make things worse on your end. Moreover, having professional help will give you a more informed decision on how you can sustain your diet and lifestyle.
With that being said, there are plenty of dieting fads out there that can be harmful to your body. Knowing which ones you need to avoid can help you make a more informed decision for your body.
Here are some of the fad diets that you should keep an eye out for:
Losing weight fast is undoubtedly one of the goals which people subscribe to. That’s what intermittent fasting promises to its audience. However, this can be a dangerous game to play since there are no studies to back this up just yet.
Practising this diet, you go on a fast for extended periods. This can be setting up a specific eating window, likely around 16 hours fasting and 8 hours feeding. It can also be in the form of fasting for two days and having a 5-day window for eating.
Although it works, this is usually sustainable only in the short term. That’s because it’s a very restrictive diet that can cause binge eating in the long run. Your body can only limit itself for a time and as the months progress, it’ll show in how you eat.
This diet is highly dangerous since it requires you to consume only 500 calories per day. The nutrients you lose from the restrictive diet are said to be supplemented by HCG, a pregnancy hormone falsely associated with weight loss.
Since you don’t get enough nutrients, you’ll lose significant weight almost immediately but at the expense of also losing both muscle mass and body fat. This can slow down your metabolism drastically which would result in challenging weight management in the long run.
What’s more alarming is that the FDA has considered taking HCG products illegal and dangerous. That’s because this can trigger disordered eating which can more than likely affect your health as the years progress.
Often, you’ll see these cleanse diets advertised by celebrities and influencers. It’s more likely that they’re just trying to sell you a product that’s ineffective to earn profit.
There’s no scientific evidence that a cleanse can help you lose weight as said by many professional nutritionists. That’s because there’s no need to help “cleanse” your body since that’s the job of both your liver and kidneys. All you are doing is wasting money purchasing expensive bottled juices that present themselves as an alternative to dieting and eating healthy.
When it comes to dangerous diets, keto is on that list. That’s because it concentrates on high fat intake with only moderate protein and very low carbohydrate intake. This limits your body’s resources for nutrients that can be accessed through other types of food.
However, this can quickly shred all the body fat that you’ve been wanting to lose all this time which is why it’s tempting to join the bandwagon for this dieting fad. The caveat though is that you can also quickly regain the weight you have lost once you fall off the wagon. That’s a dangerous diet right there.
Another thing to note is that people who follow this diet are also misguided with their food intake. Since it follows a high-fat diet, this has been made as an excuse to eat food with high levels of saturated fat like bacon and butter.
Much like the keto diet, this dieting fad focuses on highly saturated fats like meat hence its name. You’re required to only eat meat, eggs and cheese to lose weight. Although it’ll do its job and you’ll shed a lot of your weight off, it’s still not a sustainable diet and one wherein you can develop complications in the heart.
Moreover, this diet leaves out a lot of food like vegetables and fruits which are considered good for you.
Should you go on a diet?
Dieting is not inherently bad or wrong. However, you need to make sure that the diet routine you are following is backed up by scientific evidence. It should also be sustainable for your long-term benefit so you don’t have to suffer the consequences later in life.
It’s okay if you don’t know where to start, we’ll help you move forward here at Ashker’s. Contact our team of nutrition experts for a free one-time consultation so you’ll have a solid basis on how to continue with your dieting needs.