How to Eat a Balanced Diet – Tips from Real Nutritionists
Eating a balanced diet is essential for your physical health and general wellbeing. But what is a balanced diet and how do you know which foods are right for your individual needs? There’s an overwhelming amount of dietary advice to sort through these days, so figuring out how to eat healthy can be a confusing process.
If you’re looking for simple and easy-to-understand tips for eating healthy, we’ve asked real nutritionists for advice.
Give Yourself Permission to Eat
One of the most important things to remember when learning how to eat a balanced diet is to avoid limiting yourself too much. According to personal trainer and nutritionist Tanya Lewis, co-founder of Life Personal Trainers, being overly restrictive can be counterproductive.
“Any extreme advice like quitting sugar or excluding a certain food/food group is generally unhelpful unless used for a real allergy. It can lead to poorer food relationships and nutrient deficiencies.”
She also says it’s important to not fixate on clean eating.
“Clean eating is an overused and unhelpful term that leads to guilt and confusion.”
“Choosing a variety of generally lower processed foods from all the food groups is a great base to start from and helps to cover protein needs for recovery and fibre which is really important for a healthy gut. It is normal for day-to-day eating to be different and seasonal depending on social events and food availability.”
“The concept of 'unconditional permission to eat' may seem scary or unhealthy but when you consider health more than the physical it becomes obvious that unnecessary restrictions do not lead to long term health”.
Rather than trying to suppress your appetite, listening to your body is a far more effective approach when it comes to eating a balanced diet.
Nutritionist, personal trainer and wellness professional Anna Block recommends intuitive eating for long-term success.
“Intuitive eating is all about feeling calm, clear and in control and eating the foods your body needs. It’s a mindful, connected way to living your life and a core philosophy in my process.”
Based on her own experience, Anna says that intuitive eating can help heal your relationship with food.
“I found eating intuitively created the same empowering approach I use these days with my clients, which addresses their relationship with food, stress and their body, so they find it easier to stay on track, be less anxious when it came to food and eat in a way that serves them.”
Our final piece of advice comes from qualified nutritionist Karissa Deutrom. To maintain a healthy relationship with food, she recommends a flexible approach.
“Be flexible with your food mindset - eating a certain food will not make or break your day, so there’s no reason to beat yourself up over choices.”
Finding balance between different food groups is another one of her top tips.
“Aim to fill half your plate with veggies, a quarter of the plate with lean protein and the other quarter of the plate with a lower GI carb like pasta or a grainy bread roll. This will keep you feeling energised and satisfied, and ready to crush your fitness goals.”
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, grow stronger or maintain your current level of fitness, eating a healthy diet will help you meet your fitness goals. Just remember to be kind to yourself along the way.
Interested in a career helping people live healthier lifestyles? Learn how to become a qualified nutritionist with AIPT’s 10136NAT Diploma of Nutrition (Non-Clinical Advisor).
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