Imagine a world where crazy fad diets don’t exist and everyone is fit and happy, enlightened by the simple truth that with a balanced diet, you can achieve your physique goals. Unfortunately, you do not live in a world devoid of clever marketing schemes and fairytales concocted by the fitness industry, but you do live in a world where you can absolutely achieve your goals by maintaining a balanced lifestyle.

Whether you are trying to lose excess fat and reach that healthy body fat range, or trying to pack on lean muscle mass, nutrition is crucial, as no number of sit-ups will get you the six-pack you want. Here is everything you need to know about a balanced diet and how it can help you reach your goals.

Carbs are not your enemies

Have you been told to hate carbs? That they will make you fat and chip away at all of the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym, and beyond? Contrary to popular belief, carbs are not your enemies, sugars are. And even a reasonable dose of sugar on a daily basis doesn’t get you fat, excess calories do.

Therefore, you needn’t necessarily restrict your carb intake, rather you need to work in a healthy calorie amount into your total caloric requirements on a daily basis. In fact, healthy carbs, such as veggies, seeds and legumes are extremely healthy and are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. So, don’t rule out your carbs, rather try to work them into your diet, as they are also a valuable source of energy.

But you can do without them

In all honesty, carbs aren’t crucial for your survival. The fact of the matter is that every person reacts differently to various stimuli. Some people respond better to a high-carb diet, some to a fat-rich diet - you need to find out what works best for you.

If you’re eating healthy carbs, and you’re still gaining fat, then perhaps a high-fat diet entailing nuts and seeds, olive oil, eggs and plenty of dairy products is better for you. And vice versa. The one part of your diet puzzle where there can be no compromise is your protein intake.

Track your macros

Calories in, calories out. This is what weight regulation and management boils down to, no crazy fads, and no restrictive diets. If you want to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit, and vice versa, if you’re looking to “beef up”, you need to be in a caloric surplus.

That is why it is crucial to assess you daily caloric need and your macronutrient requirements. Tracking your macros is not only important when pursuing a certain physique, it is also crucial for a healthy lifestyle. You want to tailor your carb and fat intake around your protein requirements. Remember, never skip on protein-rich foods, as protein is the building block of life, and consequently, your physique as well.

And supplements accordingly

There are quite a few reasons why supplements are good for you. Not to say that your gym bag needs to be an impromptu mobile pharmacy, however you do want to supplement your diet with vitamins, minerals and even amino acids in order to maintain and support healthy bodily processes and speed up recovery.

The faster you recover the more results you get and fortunately, the human body is incapable of distinguishing between various micronutrient sources. That’s why you shouldn’t try to tailor your diet around vitamins and minerals, as it would be impossible. Just take a few Solgar vitamins in the morning paired with natural Udo’s probiotics in the evening in order to promote bowel health and a fast metabolism.

Be persistent and adjust

Finally, you need to remain persistent. It is easy to give up when you fail to see results after a couple of weeks. However, a balanced diet takes you down the road of lifelong wellbeing, and it is not a habit you happen to pick up and lose once you’ve reached your immediate goals.

Furthermore, you need to adjust your diet accordingly. When the results start showing, you want to carefully monitor your progress and increase or decrease your calorie intake in order to maintain the balance.

Reaching your physique goals while nurturing a healthy lifestyle is not always an easy task. Fortunately, by sticking to these crucial tips, you will have no problems creating a healthy nutrition plan and paving the road to lifelong happiness and wellbeing.

- Samantha Olivier
ripped.me