Dieting

What is a balanced diet?

A diet which has an appropriate amount of macro and micro nutrients, that assists in the proper functioning of the body, is called a balanced diet.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), following are the Daily Values *(DV) of the essential nutrients in a 2000 calorie diet.

                                          what is a balanced diet?

Essential Macronutrients

  • Carbohydrates: 300 grams (50-60%)
    Our body converts carbohydrates into glucose. Our body instantly utilizes glucose to provide energy to all the cells, muscles and organs of the body. The largest consumer of glucose in the human brain. Excess glucose converts into glycogen and the body utilizes it as per its requirements.
  • Fat: 65 grams (20-30%)
    Fats contain the highest calories and are a rich source of energy. Fat increases the feeling of satiety and does not allow the blood sugar to elevate. This is primarily because fat slows down digestion.
    Choose monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat. Limit saturated fat (less than 20 grams) and trans-fats.
  • Protein: 50 grams (10-20%)
    Protein is an important nutrient for muscle building, repairing and immunity development. Maintain a minimum of 0.8-gram protein per pound of body weight.

 

Essential Micronutrients

These involve vitamins and minerals(sodium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, etc) where sodium to potassium ratio should be 0.5 and another intake must be according to an individual's health.

This is because, some people may need more calcium, some may need less. People having low hemoglobin require more iron while some people require less. It is up to the nutritionist/doctor to decide what amount is appropriate.

The question of dieting comes only when there's a weight loss factor involved. In today's time, fitness has become a trend among all individuals in the world. Yet, there are a few instances too, where, people face difficulty in losing weight.

So, why do we gain weight?

We gain weight owing to several factors ranging from diet, lack of exercise, thyroid problems, genetics and a lot more. While each of them plays a vital role in gaining weight, improper diet is the primary culprit behind overweight individuals and obese people.

What's the role of a balanced diet in weight loss?

Balanced Diet

We must know that our body uses the macro nutrients from the foods that we consume. Now each food item has different calorie levels. Our body utilizes calories as a fuel for performing our daily activities.

However, when there's lack of exercise or when the lifestyle becomes sedentary, our body gradually begins to store the excess calories. Say, for example, excess carbohydrate converts into fat and accumulates in the lower abdomen area, thus, contributing to obesity. Moreover, excessive protein is converted into fatty acids and stored as fat in the body and this happens when the body lacks energy.

So, our diet is a key parameter to watch for the sake of our weight loss goals.

How to have a balanced diet?

  • Try to achieve the carbs-protein-fat balance where 50 percent of calories come from carbs and 25 percent of calories come from proteins and fats each.
  • Ensure that fruits and vegetables are a part of each serving in a day.
  • Consume whole grains.
  • Reduce refined flours and sugars.
  • Prefer baked instead of fried foods.
  • Minimize the consumption of oily fast foods.
  • Maintain the sodium-potassium balance.

 

Are You Making These Dieting Mistakes?

  • Exercising less and eating more? OR Exercising more and eating less?

    Exercise speeds up the cardiovascular activity inside the body. This surge increases the fat loss procedure immediately and furthermore, burns calories quickly. Exercises like Pilates, Planks, Ab-crunches can be performed at your convenience even at home. Several simple, yet effective, muscle building exercises help in easy weight loss. Disciplines like exercise and yoga help an individual to achieve mental balance. A determination is a must for weight loss programs.

  • Thinking that dieting leads to weight loss?

    Yes, dieting is not always an optimum solution. Wikipedia defines dieting as: restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight. Now, the words 'special kinds' means, those foods that possess low glycemic index. Additionally, foods that do not raise the blood sugar immediately after consumption, are known as low glycemic index(GI) foods, for example, legumes. For instance, you must always look for foods that are rich in fiber. Since people are unaware of the genuine and correct techniques of dieting, they often face issues like nutrient deficiencies, electrolyte imbalance, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and much more. Besides, dieting also increases the craving and desire to eat junk food after an extended period of dieting. Such individuals become prey to unhealthy eating habits and this kicks the purpose of dieting itself.

  • Having a sedentary lifestyle?

    Sitting or staying idle for a prolonged period of time contributes to weight gain too. Make sure to take a brisk walk once in a while, whether at home or at an office.

  • Not following the diamond pattern of eating?

    Eat a heavy breakfast, a moderate lunch and cut down to a light dinner. Do not skip any of the meals and prolonged gaps between meals is not encouraged at all.

    According to a health website (health.usnews.com), metabolism refers to how the cells utilize the energy we have absorbed from food during digestion. For this to happen, sufficient inflow and outflow have to be created within the body. Developing an equilibrium where the demand is equal to the supply and vice versa is essential. This can occur if we eat our food in divided portions and that too at regular intervals. Health professionals and nutritionists always stress on eating light meals 4-6 times a day. Here the body learns to utilize the energy acquired from foods efficiently and aids in weight loss too. Drinking or sipping water throughout the day is also instrumental in weight loss.

  • Consuming too much alcohol and fried foods?

    Alcohol gets stored in the body in the form of fat especially in the abdominal areas and lower back. The same is true for fried foods too. It requires a lot of exercise and dieting to get rid of the stubborn fat. Therefore, it's crucial to minimize alcohol consumption and binge eating.

 

Who can benefit from this?

Overweight children and adults of any age can follow weight loss programs. Although, it's recommended that they seek the help of an experienced medical professional or a nutritionist. Also, any form of exercise may require the assistance of a professional trainer. Stay away from quick weight loss programs that involve the use of steroids or harmful chemicals.

 

Benefits of a balanced diet

  • Regulates the digestion process.
  • Helps in reducing obesity.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Maintains cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

A balanced diet, coupled with a healthy lifestyle, works wonders in our life. Therefore, we all must make sure to extensively follow a balanced diet pattern. Proper awareness about the benefits of balanced diet must be propagated to benefit more and more individuals across the world.

 

Meet Your Preferred Dietician By Visiting Here Today!

 

* Source: https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm