There is more to your health than how you look in the mirror. While trendy diets like Keto and Paleo promise to help you shed pounds the lack of long-term studies on these diets does raise some questions. Namely, are they consistent with an overall healthy lifestyle? And, actually, that question begs another, even more important question: what does it mean for a diet to be healthy?
Some care first about their appearance, others care first about how they feel. Who is right? Neither. At least, not necessarily. Why? Because the matter of which aspect of one’s health is MOST important is subjective. What isn’t subjective is that there are three indisputably important aspects of a healthy diet which SHOULD be of the up-most importance to every person. They are: Life, Looks, and Longevity.
By “life” we mean a healthy diet should help you feel good and have energy throughout the day. By “looks,” obviously, we mean that a healthy diet should help you obtain and maintain an attractive physical appearance. And by “longevity,” we mean that a healthy diet should help you live as long as possible. If you eat a healthy diet, in other words, you should feel good, look good, and live a long time.
A More Balanced Approach
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Whenever a diet, regardless of the type, advocates the elimination of a complete food group—carbs, for example—you should start to get skeptical. The exception, of course, are certain well-established food items like sugar—which should be eliminated as much as possible.
Carbs are important for energy and necessary for peak athletic performance. If you want to take a lesson from the ketogenic food trend, it should be that you should REDUCE the number of carbs you eat and monitor WHEN you are eating them. You do not necessarily, however, need to eliminate them all together.
When we say you should monitor WHEN you are eating carbs what we mean is that, in terms of weight gain, it is bad to carb-load (i.e. eat a bunch of carbs like a big bowl of pasta) late at night or before a long day at the office. But, carbs can be a good thing if you eat them an hour or so before the gym or other kind of physical exercise. Why? Because carbs are fuel. Always remember that your body is an energy-consuming machine, and if you want to stay in shape you have to burn the energy that you consumer!
How to Balance Your Diet
How do you make eating a balanced diet easy on yourself. Keep it simple: Eat a lot of vegetables, a good amount of protein, some fruit, and only a little bit of other carbs like pasta. Better yet, if you can get your carbs from healthier sources like oatmeal or whole grain pasta.
If you are focused on energy, you especially do not want to have high-carb meals for lunch, that will ensure the infamous post-lunch slump. Get rid of the bread when it comes to lunch. Some people have also had success in terms of both weight loss and more energy by pushing their lunches back an adopting an intermittent fasting style of eating.
Energy Filled Foods
Here are ten foods you can add to your diet that are good for you and are sure to give you healthy, sustainable energy that won’t dip off in the middle of the day.
- Brown Rice or Ramen
- Fatty Fish
- Coffee (black/no sugar)
- Matcha (Unsweetened, you can add organic Cinnamon if you don’t like the natural flavor of Matcha)
- Green Tea (Unsweetened)
- Egg whites
- Goji Berries