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  • Writer's pictureJean-Philippe Ricau- Registered Dietitian

A dietitian explains how this simple diet can help you lose weight sustainably.

Updated: Jan 3


What are the diets that actually work?

How can a simple diet help you lose weight sustainably?

These are questions I often hear.


In this article, I will delve into how a straightforward diet can be a key factor in achieving weight loss.


plate with weight loss written on it

Building upon your enhanced understanding of nutrition from my previous article...:


...you might be grappling with some disillusionment after exploring:


I understand.


Now, let's shift our focus to what truly works. Are you weary of fleeting fad diets that promise short-term results and provide long-term disappointment? Are you in search of a better approach? A diet that can make you lose weight sustainably?


Enter the concept of the balanced diet.


What exactly is a balanced diet, and is it even a diet in the traditional sense? Let's uncover the answers.





I like to educate my patients about the significance of incorporating positive habits during their weight loss journey – habits that they'll seamlessly carry forward even after concluding their sessions with me.


The key isn't merely eliminating certain foods but mastering the art of control. How?


Let's explore the path to lasting success through a more realistic, scientifically-supported strategy.


First of all, I usually make it clear that the term "diet" is off-limits. Instead, we should frame it as the embrace of new, sustainable dietary habits – an approach that is logical, straightforward, and geared for the long term.


It is important to remember that weight loss is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, effort, and commitment to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way. There is no quick fix.

(Note: in this article I will not cover therapeutic diets tailored to address special genetic or medical conditions such as Celiac disease or diabetes here.)



What's a balanced diet?


A balanced diet is one that provides your body with all the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other components it needs to function at its best. This type of diet includes a wide variety of foods in appropriate proportions to support overall health and well-being.


Superfood plate
Image Credit: Louis Hansel on Unsplash


A balanced diet typically consists of the following key components:

  1. Fruits and Vegetables: These are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. They help boost your immune system, support digestion, and provide essential nutrients.

  2. Proteins: Including lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and legumes ensures you get sufficient amino acids for muscle growth, tissue repair, and hormone production.

  3. Whole Grains: Foods like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oats provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, and sustained energy.

  4. Dairy or Dairy Alternatives: These are sources of calcium and vitamin D, essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth.

  5. Healthy Fats: Good sources include avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Healthy fats support heart health and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins.


How can a balanced diet help you lose weight sustainably:


A balanced diet offers numerous benefits, including:

  • Nutrient Adequacy: It ensures that you receive all the vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal functioning.

  • Energy Balance: A balanced diet helps you maintain a healthy weight and provides energy for your daily activities.

  • Disease Prevention: It reduces the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

  • Improved Digestion: High-fiber foods support digestive health and reduce the risk of constipation.

  • Strong Immune System: Nutrient-rich foods boost your immune response, helping your body fend off illnesses.

  • Mental Well-Being: Eating a variety of foods promotes better mood and mental health.

  • Healthy Skin: Nutrients like vitamin C and E contribute to radiant skin and protect it from damage.

  • Better Performance: Whether in sports, work, or daily life, a balanced diet ensures you have the energy and stamina to perform at your best.


In essence, a balanced diet is not about depriving yourself but about making nutritious food choices that nourish your body, support your health, and provide you with the vitality to live your life to the fullest.


To increase your chances of diet success, it's essential to focus on sustainable, balanced eating patterns, rather than quick fixes or extreme restrictions.


Consulting with a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance and strategies to help you reach your goals more effectively. They can help you create a plan that is safe and sustainable for you.

The goal of a dietitian is to help you make healthier choices on the long term, so that after a few sessions you no longer need a dietitian.


Schedule a one-on-one video consultation for one the best dietitian programs.


THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING (AVAILABLE ON AMAZON). More info here.




 

FAQ Section

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that provides your body with all the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other components it needs to function at its best. It typically consists of a variety of foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, healthy fats, and dairy or dairy alternatives.

How can a balanced diet help me lose weight sustainably?

A balanced diet can help you lose weight sustainably by providing your body with the nutrients it needs while still creating a calorie deficit. This is because balanced diets typically contain less processed foods and more nutrient-rich, whole foods. Additionally, balanced diets can help you feel full and satisfied after meals, which can reduce your cravings and help you stick to your weight loss plan.

What are some tips for following a balanced diet?

Here are some tips for following a balanced diet:

  • Make sure half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables at every meal.

  • Choose whole grains over refined grains whenever possible.

  • Choose lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, beans, and lentils.

  • Include healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

  • Limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy fats.


Do I need to see a registered dietitian to follow a balanced diet?

It is not necessary to see a registered dietitian to follow a balanced diet, but it can be helpful if you have specific dietary needs or concerns. A registered dietitian can create a personalized meal plan that is tailored to your individual needs and goals.

What is the difference between a diet and a healthy eating pattern?

A diet is a specific plan for eating food, often for a limited period of time, in order to lose weight or achieve a specific health goal. A healthy eating pattern is a way of eating that is consistent over time and provides your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.

What are some examples of healthy eating patterns?

Some examples of healthy eating patterns include the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the vegetarian diet. These diets are all rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and they limit processed foods and unhealthy fats.


I'm confused about all the different diets out there. Which one is right for me?

The best diet for you is one that you can stick to long-term. If you're not sure which diet is right for you, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you create a plan that is safe and effective for you.

 

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