Leading a healthy lifestyle can feel like being on a teeter-totter sometimes, balancing home and work lives, healthy food choices and physical activity, but maintaining a balanced diet can give you more energy and provide your body with the fuel and nutrients it requires to keep you alert and active.

What Is a Balanced Diet and Why Is It Important?

A balanced diet consists of correct portions of lean protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates. Each of these macronutrient food groups contributes something different to your nutrition and diet, and combining them all helps you feel full, have more energy and reach your fitness goals.

Load up on fruits and veggies

Veggies and fruits have loads of water within them in addition to fibre, both of which help you feel full — the volume of the food signals your brain to stop eating. Vegetables, especially colourful ones and leafy greens, also are very low in calories, so you can fill up without eating an excessive amount of calories. Plus, fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals which help nourish your body and boost your mood.

Eat enough protein

Protein provides healthy calories to fuel your body and supports bone. Great sources of protein include lean meats, beans and nuts. If you incorporate exercise into your routine, getting enough protein is essential to help rebuild your muscles after a workout. Lean protein with each meal also helps you feel full longer.

Don’t be afraid of fat

Fat has a bad reputation, but it shouldn't. Healthy dietary fats, such as those found in avocados, nuts, eggs, and whole dairy, like milk, Greek yoghurt and butter, are part of a balanced diet.

Choose complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to keep you moving. However, eating “simple carbs” like white bread or desserts will give you a fast energy boost and then a crash. Complex carbohydrate foods, such as whole-grain bread, brown and long grain rice, quinoa, and even starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes balance the nutritional needs of your body.