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Managing your diet doesn’t mean trying to lose weight or alter your body shape. It should be about making sure your body has everything it needs to function to the best of its capacity. Feeding yourself a healthy and balanced diet will ensure that you give your body all the nutrients and substance it needs to get by. It can help you to maintain your health and promote a sense of overall well being. So, to achieve this, where should you start? Here are a few suggestions that should get the ball rolling in the right direction.
Know Your Calories
A key element of eating a healthy and balanced diet is your calorie consumption. Calories are units of measurement that show how much energy is in the food you eat. By eating a recommended number of calories for you as an individual, you can make sure that you’re giving your body sufficient fuel, without overeating, which can result in excess calories and health issues like obesity. If you want to know specifically how many calories you should be eating each day, consult your doctor. However, the guidelines below should give you a good idea of how many calories are suitable for someone of your age, sex and activity levels.
- Children aged 2 to 8 - 1000 to 1400 calories
- Girls aged 9 to 13 - 1400 to 1600 calories
- Boys aged 9 to 13 - 1600 to 2000 calories
- Active women aged 14 to 30 - 2400 calories
- Sedentary women aged 14 to 30 - 1800 to 2000 calories
- Active men aged 14 to 30 - 2800 to 3200 calories
- Sedentary men aged 14 to 30 - 2000 to 2600 calories
- Active adults over 30 - 2000 to 3000 calories
- Sedentary adults over 30 - 1600 to 2400 calories
Plan Your Meals
Often, people slip into bad eating habits out of convenience. If you are rushed or on the go, you’re much more likely to opt for ready meals, takeaways, fast food or other forms of junk food. These foods tend to be high in nutritionally devoid calories and often contain excess levels of salts, sugars or saturated fats. By planning your meals, you can make sure that you always have healthy options at hand to enjoy. At the start of each week, come up with what you’re going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day of the week. This can also allow you to use similar ingredients in different dishes to reduce wastage. When planning, you can ensure that you’re getting your five a day, sufficient protein, sufficient fibre and sufficient calories. You can also make options that can be frozen and saved for later in the week, when you may be busier, too, such as instant pot lentil soup.
You don’t have to be strict with yourself to be healthy. You don’t have to make sure every single meal or snack is absolutely healthy. You can have treats from time to time. Avoid extremes and you’ll find that your healthy and balanced diet is much more sustainable.
These tips and tricks should keep you on the path to maintaining your health and wellbeing through your diet. Hopefully, some of the information will instill some positive habits into your dietary routine!