Contemporary life is a continual juggling act of responsibilities and activities, and it’s inevitable that in a rush, some figurative balls will be dropped. Very often, with not enough hours in the day, it’s healthy eating that is sacrificed, with grab-on-the-go sugar and sodium-loaded foods becoming a primary source of nutrition for the day. Global nutrition company, Herbalife Nutrition, shares five relatively simple steps to restore greater balance to your diet – and maintain it – regardless of how busy you are.
- Split your Macronutrients – Macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) play an important role in enabling the normal functioning of the body. But how much should you be consuming? It’s recommended your daily diet should consist of 30% fats, including your Omega-3’s; 40% carbohydrates, including your fibre; and 30% protein. Combine these with exercise, hydration, and rest to keep your body running optimally.
- Plan your Meals – Planning your meals refers to eating specific nutrients at specific times of the day. Carbohydrates, for example, are best consumed first thing in the morning and about an hour before a workout, which allows your body to process this nutrient while providing the energy you need when exercising. It’s also best to consume protein in the morning and after a workout session to help repair your muscles. Healthy fats should then form part of your breakfast or mid-morning snack to provide energy, which you’ll end up burning off throughout the day.
- Eat more Fibre – Dietary fibre is healthy for our digestive health, and it helps you feel fuller, for longer. Fibre-rich foods include wholegrain cereals, bread, fruits such as berries, melons and oranges, and of course, nuts and seeds, to name a few. A simple way to increase your fibre intake then is to add such fibre-rich foods to your meals, smoothies or shakes.
- Increase your Vitamins and Minerals – Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients as they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help strengthen bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also help convert food into energy, repair cell damage and shield us from ageing and free-radical damage. While it’s difficult to ensure you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals from food, multi-vitamins and supplements are a great way to add in important ones you may be missing from your daily diet.
- Use a Supplement – Science-backed supplements are an effective and convenient way of ensuring our body receives all the nutrients it needs to function to the best of its ability. These supplements can take many forms, from gel capsules to powders and shakes, and the wide variety available means even vegans, lacto-vegetarians and the gluten intolerant consumers will find something suitable. What’s most important is that you look for products that make up for the shortfall in your specific diet, whether it be protein, hydration or phytonutrients (gained from plants).