With the hectic lifestyle that you maintain, there is little time to look after yourself—both physically and mentally. Before you know it, you are exhausted and out of shape. Stress has taken its toll, and your family doctor warns you about the early signs of heart disease and diabetes. You panic and go on a crazy diet you think will help—more carbohydrates, less proteins, and eliminating every ounce of fat. The ads are screaming that you should try this new ‘miracle diet’, which melts the pounds away.
Unfortunately, most fad diets leave you exhausted and worse… hungry.
Let us rewind this a bit. All you need is a balanced menu that will help you achieve your weight goals while providing you with nutrition and essential energy. According to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS), dietary guidelines advice individuals to follow a balanced menu that would consist of the following:
- Whole grains and whole grain products, different types of fruits and vegetables, diary products, especially fat free or low fat milk, cheese, butter and yogurt.
- Lean cuts of meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, beans, nuts and seeds
- Oils low in saturated fats or trans fats and foods low in sugar and sodium
- You may talk to your doctor or dietician about a nutrition chart that will provide details regarding foods from each of these important food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
According to the USDA, an adult male requires 2000 to 2500 calories per day to meet his energy requirements. With the help of the nutrition chart, you can calculate your calorie intake depending on your body mass index (BMI).
Balanced Diet Chart For Adult WomenThe USDA specifies an average of 1500 to 2000 calories for adult women per day. This number changes for pregnant or lactating women to provide nutrition for both the baby and mother. Women are also encouraged to eat a variety of foods from main food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, along with dietary fiber. Additionally, folate-rich foods maybe prescribed for pregnant or lactating women as they assist in overall development of the infant. Women may need fewer calories than men but a healthy plan can help women maintain their weight goals and fight common ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Daily Food Chart For Men & WomenHere is a sample daily food chart that includes foods from all food groups to provide nutrition from both adult men and women. You may use this example of a daily food chart to formulate one that suits your needs and food choices. However, it is best to talk to your doctor or dietician before you choose to follow any diet or food chart.
Breakfast: A healthy breakfast is the right start to your day and should provide protein, complex carbohydrate, a little fat, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Try whole grain or multigrain bread with a spread of peanut butter or any other nut butter along with a glass of low fat or skim milk. Complete your breakfast with a fiber rich fruit such as apple.
Another option includes multigrain cereal with skim milk. Add berries to your cereal to provide you with both fiber and antioxidants. Get your dose of proteins through boiled eggs or egg whites cooked in scant oil.
Yogurt parfaits with granola or oats, a glass of skim milk with honey, and a glass of fruit or vegetable juice may also complete a nutritious breakfast.
Lunch: Try to include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to your main meal to derive maximum nutrition. A light lunch may constitute a vegetable soup or mixed green salad, a single serving of fish or palm sized serving of poultry or meat, cup of brown rice and a dessert consisting of fresh fruits.
Whole wheat pasta or wheat pancakes served with a vegetable stir fry cooked in minimum oil and a bowl of baked beans also fulfills your nutrition requirements.
Soups and salads satisfy you, while moderate servings of meat, poultry and seafood provide adequate proteins. Choose whole grain foods for complex carbohydrates. Fruits are natural dessert without the guilt of additional calories.
Dinner: Dinner may constitute whole-wheat pasta with vegetables, a serving of grilled or pan cooked chicken breast in tomato sauce, a slice of crusty grain bread, followed by a light dessert.
Brown rice or quinoa salad, lentil soup, lean cuts of meat as grilled steak, baked potatoes with scant butter and a fruit salad may constitute a balanced meal.
Snacks: Julienne vegetables with a low fat dip, whole fruits or fruit juices, a handful of nuts, a square of dark chocolate, cereals and plain popcorn work as healthy snacks that do not ruin your diet.