Diet – a phenomena so famous that everyone knows this much-loved trend. As discussed in my article, DIETING – An introduction to mindful eating and Bad Weight Loss Diets to Avoid, diet is what makes or breaks your health. No matter what your goal is, being mindful about dieting will accelerate your journey towards your fitness goals.
Now that we know what type of diets to avoid, let’s discuss the good side of diets – HEALTHY AND GOOD DIET.
What is a good diet?
A healthy diet that provides all the required nutrition to the body, cuts out the unnecessary elements and keeps your over health under check, is a good diet. It is scientifically proven that a healthy diet not only helps you maintain your body’s ideal weight but also provides various health benefits and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
A general healthy diet doesn’t let your body starve. Rather, it gives you enough energy to maintain the right energy balance of your body.
*Energy balance is when the calories taken in from diet are equal to the calories used by the body. Our body requires calories to perform essential processes like breathing, pumping blood, thinking, etc., and also everyday functions such as walking, moving, talking.
What consists of a good diet?
A good diet is a balanced diet that provides adequate nutrition to the body derived from various food groups – protein, fiber, carbohydrates, sugar, fat, water, etc.
It is suggested that you eat 5-6 times a day with controlled portions so that the necessary elements are given to the body at appropriate time.
Good (Healthy) Diet Plan
Nutritional needs vary depending on sex, size, age and activity level. However, a general diet plan should provide the following calories to a healthy adult-
|Meal||Ingredients (Key Elements)|
|Breakfast(Most important meal. Skipping breakfast can lead to binge eating later)||Protein (Eggs, paneer, Granola, Quinoa, Lentils, Spirulina, Tofu, Peanuts, Almonds)|
|Mid-Morning Snack(This helps control hunger pangs and also control your lunch meal portions)||A mix of low carbs, sugar and protein(peanut butter, banana, fruits, almond nut butter, veggie sticks)|
|Lunch(Non-fat, avoid carb-rich food such as rice to avoid to post lunch gloominess and slump)||A mix of lean protein, fiber and starchy carbs (salad, lettuce, baked beans, whole grain breads, roti, Pulses, Chicken, Salmon, etc.)|
|Mid-Afternoon Snack(This meal bridges the seemingly long gap between lunch and dinner. It helps you control your dinner portions as dinner is the least and last meal of the day)||Energy rich foods that release sugar to keep you going(dry fruits, apples, unsalted mixed nuts, green tea, cherry tomatoes, etc.)|
|Dinner(For the last meal, practice portion control and avoid high fat and high carb foods as they do not get digested or used by the body in the night and are stored as fats)||A mix of protein, fiber and low-carb diet to keep you full for longer till breakfast(Paneer, salad, lettuce, chicken, salmon, trout, soup, eggs, etc.)|
If weight loss is your goal, incorporate the above mentioned break up in a counted 1200-1500 Calorie diet where in you must monitor the calorie intake per meal, with the least intake being at dinner. Switch to whole grain and multigrain breads, use skim milk, add flaxseeds to your diet, avoid all sorts of saturated fats and processed foods, switch to sugar free granola and cereals for breakfast, maintain a low salt diet and make sure to drink 3-4 liters of water to stay hydrated and flush out the toxins.
As mentioned earlier, any good diet varies from person to person. Everybody is different. If you have certain health issues or some specific goals, make sure to consult your doctor or a certified nutritionist before you get onto a diet. They will help you with a customized plan best suited to your body and health.
If you have any questions about your diet, feel free to comment below and I will be happy to help. Eat healthy. Stay healthy.