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HOW TO EAT 'HEALTHY'

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

How do you create a plate that is customised for your specific goal everyday?


This is tough, not everyone has the time everyday to spend creating meals that are perfect for their goals and we are not robotic. You might see all these perfectly created meals all over social media but is that actually the way those people eat everyday?


What if I told you there was a way for you to prepare your food/meals so it is a lot easier, efficient and will get you closer towards your goals so you do not have to sit there all day wondering how do I make a 'healthy' meal...


The Australian dietary guidelines has set out an image and pie chart which depicts a stellar example of how you should have your meals everyday, is it that simple? Example below


AUSTRALIAN DIETARY GUIDELINES


australian dietary guidelines

Are you going to sit there and make meals like that everyday?


I know I don't, so what can you learn and take away from this image so you can make healthier choices as this is what I use everyday to make sure I keep a good standard of healthy eating.


How To Understand And Use The Pie Chart To Your Advantage


Read Between The Lines


Firstly I would like for you to read between the lines and try understand what the pie chart is trying to teach you. It shows various categories all with differing sizes and notes.


Carbohydrates


As you may be able to note, the biggest section of the pie chart is carbohydrates noted with cereals, breads, rice, pasta etc. Carbohydrates or 'carbs' have been labelled as the enemy throughout history however it definitely should not be looked at this way. According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines it is the highest value meaning most of your diet should consist of these types of foods. Basically when you prepare your meals make sure your biggest portion comes from carbs!

carbohydrates

Vegetables


The next largest category is your vegetables, beans, legumes and should make up the next part of your meals everyday. This could be by introducing bigger portions of veggies in your day, bulking up your plate with meals that focus on a specific vegetable etc.


For me I like to eat higher volume veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, lettuce, cucumbers or filling my plates with a side of beans. There is a lot you can experiment with however ensuring you get bigger portions of vegetables in your diet will mean you are gaining all the micronutrient benefits they provide.


Meats/Fish/Eggs/Nuts (protein sources)


This next category may come as a surprise to many however protein should not cover a big portion of your plate as people may think. The health and fitness industry love to push high protein diets and there is a secret reason why. Higher protein diets tend to keep you fuller for longer which in theory would ensue you consume less calories. So if a trainer gets you to fill up on protein sourced foods it could be his way of forcing you to eat less calories in turn helping you lose weight quicker. However is this a safe long term approach to healthy weight management? I think not.

dairy

In my opinion if they taught the benefits of creating meals based around the guidelines set above you will be creating a healthier outlook on eating behaviours and the way you look at food.


Dairy Products


They make up the big 5 food groups in the pie chart and should not be neglected. When I hear someone has started a diet I feel like removing dairy seems to be one of the first things they do however what happens when you do not have calcium in your system? Weaker bones, weaker muscles... Not a good look.


What I want this blog to teach you is that with health you should always be looking at creating a balance with whatever you are doing. Whether that be your training or even your dietary patterns. Have dairy in your diet but you do not need to be sinking a litre of milk a day, it should make up a smaller portion compared to your higher protein sources, carbs and vegetables.


Fruits


The whole apple a day keeps the doctor away is such a good analogy as it does a few things. It shows that having fruits in your diet is important but it also shows that you do not need to consume a whole watermelon to yourself everyday. Ensuring you get a small bowl, couple of apples/bananas or a small portion of whichever fruit you so desire will mean you achieved the required input of micronutrients you need from fruit.


Occasional Foods

mcdonalds

I do not think I have to go into massive detail here and tell you that going to KFC/Maccas everyday is not healthy but I will say one thing. The guidelines account for your snack foods. They account for your higher sugar, higher fat content foods and even the occasional alcoholic beverage. However it should be noted these types of foods/beverages should only be a small portion of your diet.


You can still go to maccas or share a bottle of red on a friday/saturday night. However, what you should do is make sure this type of eating is a small portion rather than a big portion of your total weekly/monthly calorie intake.


Finishing a maccas meal might make up your whole day's worth of calories so what do you do after that? My best tip is to count that meal as a small portion of your total week or month and the rest of your days/weeks should consist of your whole foods grouped from the Australian Dietary Guidelines.



Closing Thoughts


I hope this blog has done one thing for you today, my purpose is to help you navigate a way of eating that includes fun/recreation but encompasses a healthier outlook on total energy intake.


We want to promote healthier people, making something that seems to be complex a little more simple for the everyday person.


I eat this way on an average but I do not mind a cheeky beer with a parmi on the weekend. I may throw in a maccas meal everytime I go on a roadtrip to but if I pooled my whole years worth of eating my aim is to have my diet planned out like the Australian Dietary Guidelines :)


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