What is an ideal diet program?  What combination of fats, proteins, and carbs would make you lose/gain weight and maintain health as well in the process? Some of the most famous dietitians would advocate achieving a balance of nutrients, without resorting to crash dieting. This is to avoid loss of lean muscle (which increases the BMR), loss of bone mineral density (which weakens the bones), and nutrient deficiencies. But achieving the balance can be tough if you do not know the basics.

Trying to find the right diet program can be a challenge, given the array of diets and programs available. Many diets advocate restricting or avoiding specific nutrient groups. Most of these claims lack scientific evidence and may lead to nutritional deficiencies in the long term. An ideal and safe diet program is one that aims to preserve overall health and is flexible and sustainable. Current data lends strongest support to balanced diets that provide the recommended amounts of all nutrients, without excluding any food group.

 

The Right Proportion of Nutrients

Weight loss is all about balancing calorie input and output. To lose 1 pound of weight in a week, you would need to burn 3,500 calories, which means 500 calories a day. While creating the calorie deficit, it is important to keep the proportion of nutrients right. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults should get 45-65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fat and 10-35% from protein.

Pump Up the Proteins

Proteins are not only essential for growth and repair of body cells but also for building muscle. Muscle mass boosts the BMR and further aids in weight loss. The recommended dietary allowance for both men and women in the ideal body-mass-grm-index range is 0.8 gm of good-quality protein per Kg of body weight daily. Lean proteins such as non-fat milk, egg whites, chicken, fish or cooked lentils provide good-quality proteins while supplying fewer calories than higher-fat versions.

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Add Up the Vitamins

A diet that meets the RDA for proteins and calories also meets the requirements for vitamins. The B complex vitamins are available from whole-grain cereals and lean meats, while fresh fruits and vegetables are rich sources of most other vitamins, such as vitamins C and A. Because cooking destroys most water-soluble vitamins, they are best eaten raw. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Nutrition Institute of India (NIN) suggest two to three servings of vegetables and 2 1/2 to three servings of fruit each day for adults to meet the requirements.

Add Up the Vitamins

Maximize the Minerals

It is easy to obtain most minerals from your diet, since they are widely distributed. Of special interest are calcium and iron, since deficiencies of these are more prevalent. Natural, rich sources of calcium are most dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese. About 8 ounces of milk, yogurt or soy milk meets 30-40% of the day’s calcium needs. Fortified cereals, fruit juices, spinach and kale are good options for vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant. Including about 3 ounces of lean beef, oysters, clams and turkey can ensure that you get 30% of the daily value for iron. Vegans could meet their target for iron by eating 1 cup of fortified cereals or 2 cups of boiled soybeans.

Plan Your Healthy Plate

For a nutritionally balanced diet, control the portion sizes. Visual cues can help in controlling portions. A smart and easy way to build a healthy plate is provided by the USDA’s MyPlate. It depicts a plate and glass divided into five food groups – grains and vegetables occupy 30% each of the plate, while fruits and proteins cover 20% each. Adding a low-fat dairy such as skim milk or yogurt to the plate would complete the nutrition checklist.

 

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To get the most and the best out of your diet plan for you and your family, consult an expert nutritionist or dietitian. Gympik.com helps you find such experts online and you can even hire one to come to your home! Find your personal dietitian today!

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