A balanced and sustainable eating plan is one that takes into account your lifestyle, preferences, taste, and heritage. Add to that your gender, religious considerations, current health and activity level, and your age -- now you’re well on your way to determining a diet of your own design.
And remember as your life changes, change up your diet. If, for example, you find yourself training for a marathon, your increased activity level will dictate your caloric needs. You may also require more carbohydrates for energy.
Within this hybrid approach consider these nutritional guidelines:
- Only the best: Choose the highest quality, real foods that are available to you.
- Strive for balance: Include portions of lean protein, carbohydrates (such as whole grains and sweet potatoes) vegetables and healthy fats (like olive oil, olives, avocado).
- Color your plate: Aim for a variety of colorful vegetables and you’ll be sure to meet your daily requirements without even thinking about it.
- Keep it real: Whole foods always trump processed foods. They provide the mandatory source of the vitamins and minerals that your body requires to function at an optimum level.
- Eat mindfully: By taking the time to taste, assimilate, and digest, you’ll metabolize your food efficiently.
- Portion control: Rely on internal cues to stop eating when you are satisfied rather than external cues, like a clean plate.
- Happy endings: Save room for dessert. Something sweet at the end of the meal leaves you satisfied and signifies a pleasant end to your dining experience. It also helps eliminate late night snacking!