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A guide to eating well, maintaining a balanced diet and staying healthy!
We all want to feel our best, both inside and out, and by maintaining a healthy balanced diet we can do just that. Our bodies need the right nutrients each day to help maintain our energy levels and keep us active and healthy. According to the NHS, most people in the UK are consuming too many calories and they’re not eating enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre.
With a balanced and healthy diet, men should consume around 2,500kcals per day to maintain their weight, whereas women need around 2,000kcals per day.
Healthy habits, from healthy eating to exercise, can have a great impact on our overall health and mood. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help us control our weight, improve our mood, increase our energy and help boost our immune system.
What is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet focuses on the proper nutrition your body needs and where your calories come from.
Ideally, we should try to:
- Eat our 5 A Day
- Base our meals on starchy foods (potatoes, bread, rice or pasta)
- Include some dairy products or dairy alternatives into our diet
- Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat, which are good sources of protein
- Choose unsaturated fats, oils and spreads (consumed in small amounts)
- Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated
- Remember that foods high in fat, salt and sugar should be eaten less often and in small amounts
Most fad diets can help you lose weight quickly however they only focus on short-term results and can eventually make you put weight back on.
Getting your 5 A Day
It’s easier than you think to get your 5 A Day, almost all fruit and vegetables count towards the daily recommendation. Fruit and vegetables contain the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs and can help reduce your risk of developing many different health problems, including heart disease, bowel cancer and strokes.
Foods that count towards your 5 A Day include:
- 80g of fresh, canned and or frozen fruit and vegetables = one portion of your 5 A Day
- 30g of dried fruit = one portion eaten at mealtimes preferably
- 150ml fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie = one of your 5 A Day, once a day
- 80g of beans and pulses = one of your 5 A Day
If you’re looking to lose weight then you should work out your BMI and daily personal calorie target. Look at ways you can make realistic changes to your diet as well as increasing your activity levels. You should aim to lose 1lb to 2lbs a week until you reach a healthy BMI, this allows your body to lose weight at a steady rate and is more efficient with long-term changes.
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