There’s one problem with trying to diet nowadays, especially right after the holidays: There’s always a new trend “recommended by experts”, or a new program “formulated by nutritionists”, and whatever diet you’ve started two days ago is now obsolete…

So, I guess the only ‘sane’ way is to go back to the basics: a well-balanced diet…

A healthy and balanced diet is actually pretty straightforward. You eat the right amount of food and the right variety of foods. The latter is what a lot of people get wrong. Basically, our everyday meals should include ‘representatives’ from the following groups:

1. Fruits and vegetables. As a rule of thumb, you should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. What counts as one ‘serving’? One apple, half a cup of broccoli, a 250ml vegetable smoothie, and so on…

2. Starchy foods such as rice, which should not exceed one third of a meal. Also, try potatoes once in a while instead of rice, since they have more fiber and vitamins, especially if you leave the skin on.

3. Proteins, especially meat, fish, eggs, or beans.

4. Milk and dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese.

5. And finally, food that contains fat and sugar, as we need both for energy. Doesn’t sound healthy? Well, sugar occurs naturally in fruit and milk, while unsaturated fat (the ‘good’ kind of fat) can be found in fish, nuts, avocados, and vegetable oil.

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