How To Build a Balanced Plate

by team nuut

Simplify Meal Prep with Our Easy Guide to Crafting a Nutritious, Balanced, and Satisfying Plate

Feeling overwhelmed by meal planning and unsure if you’re getting the right nutrients? Don’t stress! Creating a balanced plate is simpler than you think. With some easy-to-follow guidelines, you can whip up meals that are not only nutritious but also tasty and satisfying.

In this guide, we’ll break down the essentials of a balanced plate and share practical tips to help you make healthier choices and be more mindful of your nutrient intake.

With so much nutrition advice (and misinformation) flooding the internet, it can be hard to determine what truly benefits your health. This journal article simplifies things by bringing you back to the basics. No longer do nutrition and satisfaction need to be at odds. Learning to build a balanced plate will help you:

• Feel full and content

• Enjoy your meals both physically and mentally

• Tune into your body’s hunger cues and build trust in your food choices

Remember, not every meal will be perfectly balanced, and that’s totally okay!

Understanding the Basics

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of constructing a balanced plate, let’s discuss why it matters. A well-balanced meal is like fuel for your body, providing it with the essential nutrients it craves to operate at its best. These nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, each playing a vital role in your overall health and well-being.

When you consistently consume a balanced diet, you’re not just satisfying your hunger; you’re also:

Maintaining a Healthy Weight: A balanced diet helps regulate your appetite and prevents overeating, which can contribute to weight gain.

Boosting Immune Function: Nutrient-rich foods support your immune system, helping your body fight off infections and illnesses more effectively.

Reducing Disease Risk: By nourishing your body with a variety of nutrients, you can lower your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Basically, a balanced plate isn’t just about satisfying your taste buds; it’s about nourishing your body from the inside out, setting the stage for a vibrant and fulfilling life.

The Components of a Balanced Plate

Power Up with Protein!

When it comes to building your plate, don't skimp on the protein punch! Aim to add a palm-sized portion of lean protein to every meal. Think chicken, fish, lean red meats, tofu, legumes, or eggs.

Why the protein power-up, you ask? Well, protein isn't just about bulking up; it's your body's best buddy for repair and growth. Plus, it's a champion at keeping those hunger pangs at bay, leaving you feeling satisfied and energized throughout the day. So go ahead, pile on the protein and let your muscles thank you later!

If you're feeling uncertain about your protein needs, tune in to episode #5 of the nuut-ed podcast. This episode is your ultimate guide to mastering protein intake, in a quick bite-sized episode.

Veggie Power

Get your plate poppin' with colour by loading up on non-starchy veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots. They're not just vibrant and delicious but also packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre to keep you feeling your best.

Carbs that Count

Carbohydrates are the body's primary energy source. When consumed, they break down into glucose, which fuels our cells. Any excess glucose gets stored in the liver and muscles for later use.

Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta as your go-to carbohydrate source. These complex carbs deliver steady energy and pack a fibre punch, keeping your digestion on point and helping you feel satisfied for longer.

Fabulous Fats

Don't skimp on healthy fats! Add avocado, nuts, seeds, or a drizzle of olive oil to your meal. These fats are crucial for brain health, hormone production, and absorbing those fat-soluble vitamins that keep you in top shape.

Healthy fats are digested slowly, helping you feel full and satisfied for longer when you include them in your meals.

A fantastic way to boost your intake of healthy fats is by incorporating our keto protein powder. It’s low in carbs but packs a punch with 12.3g of good fats per serving.

nuut’s Tips for Building a Balanced Plate

Plan Ahead

Take a bit of time each week to plan your meals and snacks. This will help you make healthier choices and avoid those last-minute temptations. Check out our post here, on how to easily build a balanced snack.

Mix it Up

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavours. Variety is key to ensuring you’re getting a wide range of nutrients. We recommend trying vegetable banking for a fun and nutritious twist. Want to learn more about this wellness tip? Check out our blog here.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how different foods make you feel. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. This is where a food calorie counter can come in handy, helping you monitor your daily intake and portion sizes as you educate yourself about nutrition and build better habits.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your body’s natural detox processes.

Stock Up on Staple Ingredients

Keep your pantry stocked with essentials like wholegrain pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and other dry ingredients. Add frozen or tinned vegetables, legumes, and fish for quick meal options. Frozen meats are a handy backup if you're low on fresh proteins. Having a collection of basic ingredients like olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce can make your meals more flavourful and enticing. Mix and match these staples with fresh options like cheese and vegetables.

Satisfaction (This is key!)

Ensure your meal includes foods you genuinely enjoy! If you don’t, you might end up feeling unsatisfied (even if you're physically full), which can lead to overeating later.

Building a balanced plate is all about making smart choices and prioritising nutrient-rich foods. By following the tips outlined in this journal, you can create meals that nourish your body and support your overall health and well-being.

Our meal plans and journal are filled with healthy balanced recipes that can help you put these tips into practice. So, what are you waiting for, try nuut today!