As a Nutritionist, when I think of a balanced diet I think of a pie where our 3 main macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) are roughly divided into 3 parts… 3 “pieces of the pie”. These macronutrient splits can be 33%/33%/33% but more often than not, they’re not.
What kind of macronutrient splits are there?
There is no one-size-fits all. If you’ve ever heard of the Keto diet (no favourites here), there are one-size-fits-a-lot BUT not all. There are also splits that work really well for a period of time when coupled with certain exercise.
What macronutrient split works best for you will depend on:
· your goals (e.g. trying to achieve lean body mass or bulking)
· your physical activity style (e.g. high volume and low intensity)
· your preferences (e.g. a vegan or vegetarian) and
· your lifestyle (e.g. busy mum of 3 kids, recovering from disease or illness etc.) but what shouldn’t change is the fact that all 3 are still present because they each play a vital role in your health and overall wellness.
A diet that is perfect for one human body can be poison to another. I make meal plans all day long for clients, and not once have I replicated a specific meal plan. This is because everyone is so unique. We have to remember we are one inter-connected and inter-related whole – a whole that is made up of 50 trillion cells; and everything our body does is the result of these cells talking to each other.
If you combine those hundreds of thousands of daily cellular processes, a specific diet and a specific lifestyle – you can see how we are all pretty damn unique.
I guess the better question to ask is not
What Is a Balanced Diet, but
What Diet Balances Me?
When you dig a little deeper into the 3 pieces of the pie though (your macronutrients), we have a very crucial differentiating factor – the game changer…. MICRONUTRIENTS. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that drive the cellular processes.
Every muscle we make, every hormone we create, every calorie we burn has done so because of a cellular process. Like a boss will give you a task to complete and then provide you with the tools you need to complete that task, the body is told what needs to be made and is then given vitamins and minerals to help achieve that task.
So which micronutrients are most important?
Don’t hate me but the answer is IT DEPENDS. A balanced diet for you, is one that matches what YOU need. One that increases the hormone you were low in, deepens your restorative sleep or helps you burn fat effortlessly (hopefully all 3 right?). One where people turn to you and say, “Wow you’re in a good mood today”. One that makes you feel good in your soul.
How do I find out what micronutrients I need?
Testing can be really helpful. Speaking to a functional medicine practitioner like a Nutritionist, Naturopath will guide you to which options would be most beneficial to you without breaking the bank. If you have a bit of extra cash (EOFY means tax returns baby!) then I’d recommend the Organic Acids Test sometimes called the OAT.
However, working with someone who understands the body can save you loads of money because they’re trained to ask the right questions and find the right answers without necessarily needing testing done.
What’s the best advice you could implement today for better balance in your diet?
Hands down, the number one piece of advice I could give you….. eat more vegetables!!
But it’s expensive to ‘eat healthy’ isn’t it?
Here are 2 amazing tips that will save you bucket loads…
1. Eat vegetables that are in-season – these are conveniently always the ones on special so Mum isn’t a tighta%#, she’s just been improving your gut health and she didn’t even know it.
2. Eat organic if need be – check the EWG’s Dirty Dozen to know which foods MUST be organic and which foods don’t necessarily need to be https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php. Spend the extra few dollars on the ones that free of pesticides and herbicides and other nasty stuff that our body doesn’t have the tools to breakdown and houses it in stubborn fat cells.
Need to achieve more balance of find what diet will balance you best? Request an appointment by clicking here