There are a few principles to understand when creating a diet that is complete, healthy and enjoyable. The amount, variety and moderation of the foods you eat can determine whether or not your diet will benefit or harm your health.
The amount of food you eat is the most important determinant of weight management. If you eat too much you’ll gain weight and if you eat too little you’ll lose it. If you’re already at a healthy weight, you should eat just the right amount to avoid fluctuations. To get a good idea of how many calories you should eat in a day, use the calorie calculator. Based on your height, age, weight and physical activity level, the calculator will estimate an appropriate calorie intake.
Variety is another important element in a healthy diet. Each day there’s a certain amount of vitamins and minerals that you should be taking in. Different foods have different levels of vitamins/minerals and since there’s no perfect food that contains all of them, the only way of getting your daily needs is to eat a wide variety of foods.
Generally, fruits and vegetables have the highest amounts of nutrients – vitamins and minerals. You should include them in your diet every single day. You should also aim to include different kinds in your diet. An easy way to do this is to buy different ones every time you go shopping.
The first week eat apples and the next time you go out for groceries, get grapes, then cherries, peaches and the list goes on and on. Try not to get fixated on one favorite fruit or vegetable. For example, oranges are high in vitamin C but have little vitamin E. If all you ate was oranges, you’d be getting plenty of some vitamins and little of others. Variety also makes your diet different which will keep it from getting old and stale.
Moderation will let you eat whatever you want while still being healthy. Most foods can be part of a healthy diet if you don’t eat too much of it. If you love ice cream, go ahead and eat it but make sure not to have too many servings. Check the nutrition label to find out what 1 or 2 servings is. If it fits into your daily calorie allotment, go ahead and enjoy yourself. Problems arise when you have a whole bag of chips or half a box of cookies.
The Bottom Line
A good, complete and healthy diet will improve the way you feel, look and live. It’ll give you more energy and the ability to participate in activities you might have missed out on. Just because a diet is healthy doesn’t make it boring, bland or tasteless. With your creativity, you make your diet as enjoyable as you want it to be.