Balanced meals for weight loss

It is important to consume a balanced, healthy diet and this will aid your weight loss. Unless you are on a carb restricted diet you should balance all of your meals, with the exception of your post workout meal or snacks.

Protein is used by your body to repair tissues. It is also used to make enzymes, chemicals and hormones. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and bones.

Carbohydrate is broken down into glucose before it is absorbed into the blood. Insulin is then produced to help the glucose enter your cells. Glucose is used for energy, unused glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver and muscles. Excess glucose is stored as fat.

Fibre is a complex carbohydrate, it is provided by fruit, vegetables, and starchy carbohydrates. All food packaging will list the fibre content. Its important for gut health and is generally packed with vitamins and minerals.

Fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. It is a source of essential fatty acids, which the body cannot make itself. Fat also enables certain vitamins to be absorbed.

A common mistake when trying to lose weight is to reduce fat intake drastically and many alternatives or low-fat products are high in sugars and sweeteners.

To lose weight you need to consume less calories than your body expends to put your body in a negative energy balance. So, if your body needs 2,000 calories and you consume 1,800 calories you will lose weight, if you consume 2,200 calories you will gain weight.

The key to weight loss is the strategy around what you eat, you will inevitably feel hungry at some points but you want those feelings to be small, you will find it hard to stick to a calorie deficit if you are constantly hungry.

When you eat carbohydrate, you release insulin, and you can find more details on this in our blog; how to keep fuller for longer. By combining foods, the protein, fat and fibre will slow insulin release and therefore keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Have you ever felt hungry, eaten some sugary food on its own and soon after felt hungry again? That is because your insulin levels have spiked quickly and dropped quickly, which leads to you feeling hungry. If you had a balanced meal such as some fruit (carbohydrate containing fibre) with nuts (protein and fat) it would have slowed digestion and insulin release. Insulin would have been released slower and therefore you will feel fuller for longer.

So, in short make sure you combine your meals, they should always contain protein, fat and carbohydrate containing fibre. The only time you may not want the fat in a meal is immediately following exercise as you want the food to be quickly digested and absorbed.