Food plays a massive role in our lives – it provides our body with fuel and gives it the necessary nutrients needed by the body to function as well as brings us together to celebrate peoples achievements or to destress us at the end of a long week. Whatever the case we consume a lot of varied types of foods all with different nutrient profiles. Over time these foods have been labelled based on their nutrient profiles as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and as such we now have associated views on their relation to our overall health. Please remember that our health encompasses mental and social aspects as well as physical so that should always be accounted for when we look at our nutrition. Ideally we want to find a balance between foods that are nutrient dense and less nutrient dense – this will allow you to keep up with your progress whilst still being able to enjoy all the foods you like to consume!
Balancing good and bad foods
You’ve all probably heard that there are ‘good foods’ like spinach and ‘bad foods’ like chocolate and that we should mainly consume these good foods to be healthy. Well what if we took away the good and bad terms and looked at it all for what it is – food. By putting labels on foods we take away all that they have to offer in terms of what nutrients they contain and their calorie load and give it a label that is very generalised. These generalised terms can create some wayward connotations of the foods we consume and can create a lot of confusion in our everyday routines.
All foods contain a host of differing nutrients and calorie loads therefore we need a range of different foods not only to keep our body happy but our mind and soul too!
Check out my 3 main tips on how to achieve nutritional balance with your foods:
1. Meal plan the week ahead
Write down the meals/snacks your having throughout the week and also plan in your treats and meals out too – this will show you whether you are treating yourself too often or where you can make some changes instead.
2. Pick and choose your events
If you know you have many social events ahead (no doubt we will once lockdown ends!) it is important to pick what ones you will indulge yourself with and which ones you will show some restraint – this means you can still enjoy alcohol and brunches and whatnot whilst still staying on track.
3. Make happy mediums
If you love takeaway burgers or pizzas a simple way of incorporating healthier alternatives is to make it at home! Choose more nutrient dense ingredients like wholemeal burger buns or add heaps of your favourite vegetables onto a homemade pizza base.
Stemming away from that it, it is also important to acknowledge the feelings and emotions we have behind food. We reward ourselves with food and celebrate with food and often with those ‘bad foods’. If we strip it back usually these types of foods are higher in sugar, fats and sodium. At the end of the day our body needs all three of these nutrients and yes they might be in higher proportions than we should aim for but one day or one meal of having these foods isn’t going to destroy our health nor our progress. Balance it out by incorporating more nutrient dense foods throughout the week.
So eat that burger and enjoy it, have that ice cream and savour every mouthful because you can enjoy those foods guilt free as long as you’re having nutrient dense food as well – that is the type of balance we should strive for!
If you need any help trying to find balance in your daily eating or want to talk anything nutrition please don’t hesitate to reach out, we are here to help!