Counting Calories and a Balanced Diet - dummies

Counting Calories and a Balanced Diet

Part of Calorie Counter For Dummies Cheat Sheet

There’s no one perfect diet, but you can count calories toward a balanced diet fairly easily. A balanced diet is one that ensures that you consume adequate carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Having a balanced diet also means that you take in the exact amount of calories your body needs to function and maintain a healthy weight, which means balancing eating and exercising.

To achieve a balanced diet, keep the following points in mind:

  • Strive for variety. One way to keep eating a balanced diet on a daily basis is to choose a variety of foods. Variety in this case means choosing different types of foods within each food group. So even if you love bananas, mix things up and eat an apple, a plum, some melon, or berries every week. Hey, go crazy: Try a kiwifruit or mango once in a while too!

  • Eat fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, and they play a vital role in a balanced diet. When you’re on the go, bring fruit to work or school with you to help balance out the higher-fat, higher-calorie choices you may make at other times. Eating fruits and veggies also adds fiber to your diet, and fiber helps control hunger, aiding in weight control.

    Eat at least two servings of fruit daily, gradually increasing this amount to three or four.

  • Exercise regularly. Including physical activity (also known as exercise) with a balanced diet is a great way to stimulate weight loss and improve general health and well-being.

  • Get enough sleep. When you’re well rested, you’re able to make reasonable decisions. You can pass up that 460-calorie sweet potato casserole in favor of the 60-calorie steamed vegetables. Another plus is getting adequate sleep helps with weight control.