What Is a Balanced Diet?

What is a healthy diet? Foods, calories and healthy eating for weight loss.

Besides leading to enhanced life expectancy and general improvements in wellness, eating a healthy diet has also been proven to increase energy in the workforce of the United States, with staggering results.

Before addressing the many work-related benefits of a balanced diet plan, you're still left wondering; what constitutes a healthy diet that is nutritionally balanced and how you can lose weight by following the dietary guidelines.

Components for Losing Weight

Components of a Healthy Diet for Losing Weight

So first, we begin with what balanced nutrition is and the steps you can take today to lose weight following one.

Carbs Are Needed

Carbs Are Not The Enemy in Healthy Nutrition

First off, carbohydrates don't make you gain weight or become fat. They are your body's preferred energy source and should make up anywhere from 50-60% of your total calorie intake, primarily from complex choices (whole grains cereal, wheat bread).

♥ For the average person, this works out to about 6-10 servings daily based on portion sizes and energy expenditure.

♥ Sugars, which are often called empty calories, are also a carbohydrate and should be limited as much as possible, less than 10% of your total calories.

Benefits of Fruit

Fruit Is Good for Balanced Nutrition

Fruit is best for you in its rawest or most natural state. Plus, it's loaded with vitamins, minerals, and a ton of other vital nutrients your body loves.

♥ Consume 2-4 servings daily.

Benefits of Vegetables

Don't Leave the Veggies Out in Your Balanced Nutrition Plan

When selecting between broccoli or brussels sprouts, you don't get too excited. Veggies are not your palette's first choice, right? Not to worry, with time you should get used to the texture and taste and may begin to crave them in the future.

♥ Shoot for 3-5 servings daily. Vegetables are also best for you to eat raw.

Dairy Intake

Moo for Dairy When Balancing Your Nutrition

You know that dairy has calcium (critical for bone health) and other essential nutrients like protein.

The Food Pyramid recommends 2-3 servings each day. This is particularly important for women who are far more likely to suffer from osteoporosis.

Protein Intake

Meat, Beans, Eggs, and Fish in a Healthy Diet

These foods are jam-packed with protein. However, they can also be very high in fat and saturated fat, so try to always go with the lean choices and prepare the foods in healthier ways. For example, remove the skin and bake them instead of deep-frying during cooking.

♥ Consume 2-3 servings each day made up of 2-3-ounce portion sizes.

Avoid Fats and Sweets

Avoid Fats and Sweets Like the Plague

To be avoided at all costs, just kidding.

♥ Do try to keep your servings as limited as possible and use them sparingly.

Your Caloric Needs

Determine Your Caloric Needs for Weight Maintenance

♥ Based on that number, eat 250 balanced calories under it. and

♥ Burn an additional 250 calories daily by increasing your physical exercise or starting an exercise routine.

♥ This will translate into a one-pound weekly loss of weight.

The Science

Research on Benefits of a Healthy Diet

The health and wellness benefits of eating a balanced supply of the proteins, fiber, minerals, and vitamins that the body requires to function at its optimum capacity have been well documented by science. But it was not until a 2008 report was published by ComPsych Corporation that it became clear that a healthy diet was the driving force of the nation's workforce and economy.

The key findings of its Health & Productivity Index, which followed a survey of 1,000 employees across the U.S. from employers of all sizes and industries, include:

♥ 50% of workers with balanced nutrition had high energy levels, while only 5% of employees with unbalanced diets had high levels of energy.

♥ 73% of employees with healthy diets reported high levels of productivity, compared to 24% with poor dietary habits.

♥ 51% of ideal weight employees experienced high morale, compared to less than half that number of overweight employees.

♥ 57% of healthy weight employees proved to be more highly productive, while only 27% of overweight employees reached high levels of productivity.

It was clear from these findings, said ComPsych CEO Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, that energy was a key factor in productivity. He also stated that lack of energy was the most common health-related complaint heard from employees.

The conclusion to be drawn is that the connection between well-balanced diets, weight and energy not only lead to general wellness, but are an essential factor in the workplace and that companies that promote healthy food as part of a comprehensive wellness workout can expect to reap rich dividends from their employees regarding performance and output.

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