We have all heard that it’s best to eat a healthy diet. And we all likely know about some of the benefits of a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods. But do you know what healthy eating really means?
According to the UK website for the NHS, healthy eating means that you eat a large variety of different foods in the correct proportion. It means that you consume the right amount of food and beverages to achieve, and continue to maintain, a healthy weight.
THE CALORIE AND ENERGY BALANCE FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
A healthy diet plan should provide you with the right amount of calories for energy to maintain a proper balance. When you have a good energy balance with your diet, the calories in the food you consume are equal to the calories used by your body that day. This means that you eat enough food to keep you sustained, but not so much that it causes you to gain weight.
Because no two people use the same amount of energy each day, it can be difficult to make a single suggestion for the right caloric intake that would work for everyone. Therefore, finding out the how many calories you burn per day based on how active your are would be very helpful when planing a healthy diet plan.
How to Maintain a Healthy Diet
After you find out how many calories you’ll need, it’s time to decide what foods to incorporate into your diet. With so much information and a lot of conflicting advices out there about dieting, it can be extremely overwhelming. To help you maneuver through a sea of information, here are a few things to keep in mind when starting a healthy diet plan on your own.
Keep Things Simple
One of the key things you can do when attempting a healthier diet is to keep your meals simple and eat as much fresh food as you can. By cutting out frozen foods and other types of processed foods that contain additives, you are making healthier choices and putting more vitamins and nutrients into your body. Try eating more fresh meat, fruits and vegetables, and eliminate foods that contain complex ingredients.
Not All Health Foods Are Healthy
The health food industry thrives on all the latest dieting fads from low-carb to gluten-free. But just because something says it’s good for you on the packaging doesn’t always mean it is. Many foods are sold with packaging meant to gain your attention, promising to be a better, healthier choice. But you should always be aware of what ingredients are in your packaged health foods.
Educate Yourself on Substitutes
Not all healthy substitutes are created equal. A vegetarian diet, for example, may be great for some individuals. But the foods cater to vegetarians are not always the best options for you. Many processed vegetarian meat substitutes made with soy products and/or large amount of sodium are not good for your health. If you are only switching to a vegetarian diet for health reasons, keep the same mindset. Only eating fresh foods instead of packaged and processed foods.