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Because of a heavy schedule we often ﬁnd it really hard to keep track of how balanced our daily diet is. Also, there is the assumption that a healthy meal will be boring or tasteless, so we frequently choose fast food, pre-cooked or packaged food. This type of food always has an extended list of ingredients which is not a good sign usually because you can ﬁnd there hidden sodium, many preservatives and also a lot of calories.
In order to change your diet, you have to reduce the number of calories you eat every day. This means that you should avoid (or reduce) the dietary excess of bad fats (butter, margarine, shortening, beef or pork fat, etc.) and quick-release sugars because there are stored as fat within your body. Instead you’d better eat vegetables, fruit and lean proteins, good carbs (for example oats, rye, brown rice etc.), good fats (e.g. avocados, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, olives, olive oil etc.). You could also reduce the quantity of food that you eat for each meal. Moreover, calorie restriction keeps people away from age-related diseases according to the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
You shouldn’t skip meals, especially breakfast which has to be generous, but, on the other hand, dinner has to be light. Researchers from the University of Hohenheim in Germany found out that on days with skipping meals, the other ones had extra calories for compensating the skipped meal, so, in fact, if you skip a meal you won’t eat less. Ideally you need to have 3 meals a day and two snacks (healthy ones like fruit, vegetables, almonds, etc.). Also, it can be very helpful to have a schedule for your meals and snacks and try not to eat something else between meals. If you get hungry you should drink water, coffee or tea (without sugar). Also it could help if you keep a diary of your meals where you can write down the timetable for each of your meals, ideas or the number of calories, so you can keep track of your diet.
To help you with your diet, it is better to choose starches for your meals (as often as possible) like whole-wheat pasta or bread, brown rice etc. They give you the feeling of satiety and provide you with the energy you need. Additionally a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found out that food high in protein also leads to a sensation of fullness.
Last but not least, one of the most important steps in order to keep a well-balanced diet is to think of your schedule. Try to plan the meals you have to cook in order to avoid food waste (for example if you have lunch with a client you shouldn’t cook for that day). Then make your menu taking into consideration the advice provided so far to keep your meals nutritionally balanced. Try going shopping in the weekend with a grocery list which comprises each of the ingredients you need for cooking for a whole week. Also, to organise your shopping list better you can sort the ingredients by section: meat, dairy, produce, etc. The last step is to prep and pack your food and store it in plastic containers so you have easy access to it.
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