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How to Create a Balanced Diet Plan

by Kai Kahale
7 minutes read

Creating a balanced diet plan is one of the most important things you can do for your health – when it’s in place and you’ve thought about exactly what to include, it’s something that can help you become physically and mentally healthier, boost your energy, and generally promote overall wellbeing; what could be better than that? 

The fact is that no matter who you are or what you do, a well-balanced diet will give you all the important – and necessary – nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your body needs to work in exactly the way it’s meant to. With that in mind, read on for a useful guide on how to create a balanced diet plan so you know where to start and what choices to make. 

What Are Your Nutritional Needs?

Everyone needs a balanced diet, but not everyone needs exactly they same thing, which is why, if you want to create a balanced diet plan, you need to think about your own specific nutritional needs. That’s really going to come down to things like your age, gender, and even what you do for a living (some jobs are more active than others, and that’s going to make a difference). 

To help you with this, it’s wise to look at useful guidelines like the Dietary Guidelines for Americans or the World Health Organization’s recommendations for example. Or if you want some specially tailored advice, speaking to a nutritional expert is a great idea. 

Eat A Variety Of Foods

Although it’s true that some foods are better for you than others, that doesn’t mean you should only eat one type of food – it’s actually better to have a nice varied diet if you want to get the most out of it and your diet plan. 

Fruit and vegetables are perhaps the most important elements to get right, and you’ll want to aim to fill at least half your plate with them when you’re making a dish. If you can do that, you’ll get plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which are hugely important. Not only that, but when you mix things up and have a lot of different types of fruit and veg, you’ll get different textures, flavors, and even color added to your meal, which makes it much more appetizing. 

You’ll also need whole grains in your diet – remember, we’re aiming for balance here. If you can choose more whole grains than refined grains, you’ll be much healthier, and it’s not as hard as it might sound – whole grains include things like brown rice, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat, so it’s a question of switching some of your usual ingredients for these ones. 

Don’t forget your proteins either! Whether you go for lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, or anything else, you need to have enough in your diet to help you stay healthy. Although most people will think of meat when they’re told to eat protein, that’s not necessarily the case, so you can skip meat altogether if you prefer. 

Plan Your Meals 

Once you know what it is you need to include in your meals to ensure they’re well-balanced, it’s a good idea to plan them in advance as much as possible – in that way, you can be sure you’re getting the right mix of healthy nutrients, plus you won’t be tempted to order takeout or eat something processed from the microwave (or skip a meal altogether) because you’re not sure what to cook or you don’t have the right ingredients. 

If you take some time just once a week to plan out everything you’re going to eat for the next seven days, including snacks if you can, you’ll never go wrong, plus you can buy everything you need in one go, saving you money and time. 

It’s even better if you have time to batch cook once in a while. In that way, you’ll always have something tasty and healthy ready in the freezer – you’ll just have to defrost it and heat it up, and that’s far better than takeout, for example, even if you’re running short on time. A balanced diet is all about thinking ahead, and a diet plan needs to be just that – planned. 

Practice Portion Control

Something else that’s going to make a massive difference to your health and that needs to be included in any diet plan you create is portion control. If you want to avoid the problem of overeating – which is so easy to do – you’ll need to look into serving sizes to help you manage your intake of the various different food groups you need to have. 

Although you might think it doesn’t matter how much you eat as long as it’s healthy, that’s not one hundred percent true – too much food is still too much, whether it’s a salad or a cake. It’s a good idea to invest in some tools to help you get your portions right – things like measuring cups, scales, or even specially designed portion control plates that show you exactly how much of each type of good you should be eating can all be helpful. 

Stay Hydrated

When it comes to creating a diet plan, a lot of people will automatically think about food and nothing else – after all, food is what makes up your diet, and food is what plays a huge part in keeping you healthy (or not, depending on what you eat). It makes sense, and if that’s what you were thinking about, that’s fine – it’s a good start. 

However, to really have a balanced diet plan, you’ll need to factor in hydration as well. The truth is that water is crucial for digestion, and it helps your body absorb the nutrients it needs without them going to waste. That’s why it’s so important to drink about eight glasses of water a day. 

Of course, water isn’t always the most exciting thing to drink, but you can improve it if you want by adding fruit or trying herbal teas instead. It’s best to stay away from soda or coffee as that can dehydrate you instead of being hydrating. When it comes to your diet plan, note down when you’re going to drink your water – it might sound obvious, but it’s easy to forget.

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