If you want to make the switch to being a healthy eater who transforms your diet, one way to look at it is just by balancing your plate. But in addition to just having a good balance of nutrients, think about it in a sustainable way. This should be a complete mindset shift and lifestyle change, not a short-term diet.
Basics of a Healthy, Balanced Plate
A balanced plate is simply one that contains all the necessary nutrients for a healthy meal. Not every plate will have these in the same portions, but it is a good place to start when transforming your diet into a healthy, sustainable one. The basic nutrients to focus on with a balanced plate include protein, carbs, and healthy fat, with some fruits or veggies in for fiber. Sometimes, one food will fit into multiple categories. Which is fine as long as you feel full and satiated with your meal.
For example, a dinner with salmon, brown rice, and roasted vegetables fit all the categories. Salmon is both protein and healthy fats, brown rice is your carb, and vegetables allow you to get in more fiber, plus also have some carbs. If you used oil to cook your vegetables, that can be fat as well.
What Nutrients Are You Missing?
To figure out if you might be missing out on some important nutrients, start by listing all your favorite meals and snacks, and what you eat most often. Next to each meal, write down the components, like protein, carb, fat, and fiber. Do you notice a trend of one category of foods you always eat? Maybe you have found you are really good at getting your carbs in, but tend to be missing out on fiber. Or perhaps you are great with protein and carbs but don’t have a lot of healthy fats in your diet.
Finding the Missing Ingredient
Of those food groups or nutrients you notice you don’t have much in your meals, which ones do you enjoy in those food groups? If you are not getting enough fiber in your meals, then you need to find some foods with fiber and list the ones you enjoy. This might be healthy grains, vegetables, or fruits. Make a list of high-fiber foods that you can incorporate more into your meals, and your diet will start being a lot healthier and more balanced.