Balanced Diet and Healthy Eating

What Causes Obesity?

Obesity is caused when we eat more calories than our body requires. In most cases, obesity is caused by consuming a diet high in calories, fat or due to an inactive lifestyle. Obesity can also be caused due to genetic, environmental, hormonal, behavioral and cultural factors.

Weight loss diet starts with balanced diet and healthy eating. To lose your weight, first you have to figure out what is healthy eating and how to do it. The concept of healthy eating is very easy. When you’re hungry, eat what you want. Make nutritious choices most of the time, but give scope for cravings. When you are not hungry, stop eating.

Your diet and weight loss are interrelated. Transition from irregular and unhealthy eating to healthy eating is not easy to achieve. For this, you might have to talk to a nutrionist. Here are some tips that can help you maintain healthy eating habits, which can also be regarded as a weight loss diet.

Observe Your Non-dieter Friend

Find a non-dieter among your friends, and watch him eat. It may seem weird, but it works. Don’t worry that your friend notices you. You are not putting your face in his plate. While observing try to find out: how long it takes for him to eat, how much concentration he puts on the food, what sorts of food he chooses, how often does he eat, and how much.

When you find out answers to these questions, you will understand the direction you have to move. But understand the fact that – the key to recovery is to be flexible. It is not necessary that you should copy what your friend does.

Why balanced nutrition diet is important for weight loss?

A Balanced Nutrient Diet (BND) is absolutely essential to lose weight effectively. However, it is easier said than done. The uniqueness about the balanced-nutrient diet is that obese people get to eat natural foods. Weight control is certainly not easy but if there is an effort to induce the same by including the 7 basic food groups in your diet, then your aim to lose inches is not very far.

Another advantage of sticking to the 7 basic food groups which form a part of the balanced-nutrient diet is the fact that you can eat as much as you want while you lose weight simultaneously. Also all the basic nutritional requirements of the body through weeks and months are fulfilled while the body is also able to maintain it’s ideal and/or desired weight.

7 Basic Food Groups to Control Weight

Listed below are foods which are divided into 7 basic groups as per the balanced-nutrient diet. Experts suggest that an obese person should try eating at least something from the following foods:

  • Carbohydrates (Green leafy and yellow vegetables)
  • Carbohydrates (Citrus fruits, raw cabbages and tomatoes)
  • Carbohydrates (Potatoes, fruits and vegetables)
  • Carbohydrates (whole-grain, cereals, flour)
  • Proteins (Skimmed milk)
  • Proteins (Lean meat, fish, eggs, skinned chicken, sprouted pulses, beans and peas)
  • Fats (butter, margarine, vegetable oil)

Experts opine that it is very essential to include a variety of foods to balance the intake of nutrients. There isn’t one food that can alone contribute to your health and fitness. An adequate amount of nutrients required by the body needs to be fulfilled by selecting from the basic groups of the balanced-nutrient diet.

Experts are of the opinion that if people are unable to stick to the 7 basic food groups, then they can at least stick to 4 basic food groups to fulfill the daily needs. An ideal diet should include the following:

  • 2 or more cups of skimmed milk or any dairy product
  • 2 or more servings of fish, chicken, lean meat, sprouted pulses, peas and beans
  • 4 or more servings of vegetables and fruits like citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, potatoes and yellow vegetables
  • 4 or more servings of whole grain products like cereals, bread, etc

Experts also caution dieters that fats should be kept to a “minimum” so as not to reduce the effects of the balanced-nutrient diet or the basic food groups.

Design a Quick Weight Loss Diet Plan

Research on nutritious eating along with diet and weight loss. After discussing with your dietitian, structure a meal plan that contains enough calories. If you are a woman having a sedentary lifestyle, this means your diet should contain at least 1,800 calories a day. If you are a male having a sedentary lifestyle, your meal plan should contain over 2,000 calories. You have to structure your meal plan in such a way that most of your food is consumed in the morning to early afternoon.

After preparing your meal plan, try it out for a week or so. If you are too hungry at anytime of day, add more calories or make changes. If there is one meal that you can never finish because you are full, make it smaller. If this system works well, then you will be satisfied with your meal plan most of the time. However, sometimes you may feel extra hungry. Then, eat more than what is on your meal plan. So try to eat foods which are filling but with less calories.

How to take a balanced diet?

  • Your diet should be low in saturated and trans fats, salt, cholesterol, added sugars, and alcohol.
  • You need to balance your calorie intake with daily exercise. By decreasing calorie intake and increasing the amount of exercise you can create a calorie deficit which will slowly and easily control your weight.
  • Daily intake of 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables can make a lot of difference.
  • Take 3 or more ounces of whole-grain products every day.
  • Don’t forget to include in your weight loss diet plan 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat milk daily. Dairy is extremely important as it provides the necessary calcium.
  • Avoid trans fatty acids.
  • Your cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg/day.
  • Eat good fats sources like fish, nuts and vegetable oils that contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • Don’t take added sugars in any form.
  • Limit salt intake to lose weight.
  • It’s better not to consume alcohol. Even if you consume make sure you drink alcohol in limited amounts.

Can Poor Parenting Cause Obesity in Children ?

Parents are mostly interested in raising the standard of living of family members. In the process, they are endangering their lives and also the lives of their children. Especially the work timings of the corporate sector is such that it completely changes the natural way in which our body works. With changes in the timings of sleep and food, the body bears severe negligence.
Children miss their parents a lot and the issue leads to depression at a very early age. Absence of parents at crucial times leads to children making wrong choices as far as diet and eating are concerned. They eat junk foods which are easily available, tasty and trendy as well. The fact that these foods are of low nutritional value is ignored. Children spend hours before the television and computers to get rid of boredom and this creates an emotional vacuum within them. Such a sedentary life style coupled with excess eating of fast foods make the children obese.

Image: Grant Cochrane /

Image: nixxphotography /