The beauty of balanced eating
Every day we balance our time, our emotions, and our energy. Balance applies to all aspects of our lifestyles, especially when managing busy work and personal schedules, along with stress, sleep, and of course, what we eat. Balanced eating tends to get pushed to the wayside as we get caught up in the rush of life. At Choose Food, the registered dietitians believe that any successful change comes from within. With an emphasis on food-positivity, Choose Food focuses on incorporating all foods in this balance.
The four principles below are meant to provide you with the tools to help achieve your health goals, which includes balanced eating, while also equipping you with skills to maintain these changes sustainably.
- No one food is the enemy. Make small, realistic steps towards a goal. This can mean that right now you may be working on learning how to stop eating when you are physically full more often or just trying to get regular meals and snacks in during the day. Making healthy changes doesn’t mean completely changing the way you live and eat. The goal is to balance your lifestyle, not turning your world upside down!
- Treat yo’self! Enjoy a varied diet, including ‘fun foods,’ too! When we label some foods as “bad” for us, it can make us crave them more. Make room for the foods you enjoy. This promotes a healthy relationship with all foods and prevents subconscious fixation on ‘the enemy’ that can lead to binges. Balanced eating means eating foods that fuel our body and foods that fuel our soul.
- Be proactive rather than reactive with your hunger. Eating three meals and two snacks provides continual energy and fullness throughout the day (and check out this delicious breakfast recipe). Intuitive eating is a helpful tool for adjusting your routine like this. Pre-portioning your meals and snacks may help avoid mindless eating and help you recognize new patterns of hunger and fullness signals.
- Balance each meal and snack with energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. This helps us get in a variety of foods, maintain our fullness throughout the day, and stabilizes our blood sugars to avoid those mid-morning/afternoon crashes.
Balanced eating inludes foods with carbohydrates, protein, and fat
Carbs are our preferred source of quick energy. It is important to have at every meal. Not eating enough carbohydrates can cause our bodies to breakdown our muscles, to provide a fuel source. This is not only discouraging when monitoring body changes but can also limit our ability to be active.
Protein makes up all muscles, tissues and cells in our bodies. It also involved in our immune systems. Eating enough protein allows us to stay active, and stay healthy, and of course, if we don’t get enough, we will see imbalances in these areas.
Healthy fats are great for feeling full all day. We like to call them heart, brain and mood foods, because they critical for our hormonal health, nerve function, in protecting our vital organs
About the Author
Olivia A. Hauger
Dietetic Intern, Texas State University
As a soon-to-be Registered Dietitian, I am currently completing my dietetic internship in my hometown of Austin, Texas, and having a blast doing so! I have spent the last year working directly with my local community and have loved counseling and building relationships with clients. I believe that eating a balanced diet allows us to be our best selves, and I enjoy empowering clients to find this balance and lead nourished lives, everyday. I love music, painting and travel, and in the very near future, I look forward to graduating with my Master’s in Human Nutrition and launching my career as Olivia Hauger MS, RD, LD!