How a Balanced Approach Can Help You Reach Your Nutrition and Fitness Goals

By Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., F.A.N.D., Director, Worldwide Nutrition Training, Herbalife
January 7, 2016

With 2016 ahead of us, January is a natural time to set goals. In a sense, the new year is an opportunity to discover the new you, especially when it comes to maintaining your weight, the food choices you make, how much you exercise and how you care for your skin. The key to lasting success is balance. With a balanced approach to your nutrition and lifestyle, you increase your likelihood of sticking with the positive changes you make for the long term. Throughout the rest of January on, our experts will help you find balance in what you eat, how you exercise and how you maintain good skin health.

Balanced Diet

To most people, a balanced diet is one that gives your body the right proportions of different types of foods to supply your body with the nutrients it needs. In the most basic terms, a balanced diet is one that provides adequate lean protein, good carbohydrate sources and a modest amount of good fat sources.

But there’s another side to balanced nutrition – and that’s the idea of calorie balance. When your calories are balanced, it means that the calories you eat (“calories in”) are roughly equivalent to the number of calories your body burns (“calories out”), and your weight should stay relatively stable.

Depending on your goals, you might choose to tip the balance. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll want to take in fewer calories than you burn; those who are trying to gain weight will work to tip the balance in the other direction. Even if you do tip your balance of calories, however, your nutritional balance should remain constant. No matter how many “calories in” you allow yourself each day, spend them wisely on a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat.

In order to look and feel your best, your body needs a complex blend of nutrients. Not only do you need the right proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals — you need adequate fluids to stay hydrated and a good dose of fiber, too. That’s a tall order — and even the most careful eater can be hard-pressed to meet each nutrient target every day.

Balanced Fitness

According to Samantha Clayton, Sr. Director, Worldwide Fitness Education, exercising with a structured and balanced approach gives you the opportunity to enhance your overall sense of well-being, improve your balance and boost your body confidence. “A well-balanced fitness routine, combined with a well-balanced healthy eating plan, can help you to achieve optimum body composition results,” said Clayton. There are many physical adaptations that take place in the body as a result of performing regular physical activity and following a healthy diet, such as weight loss, improved muscle tone or achieving an improved cardiovascular fitness level, according to Clayton. Finding a way to balance the four essential components of a well-rounded fitness plan can help you to maximize your time spent exercising. Include the following into your workout week:

  • Stretching: Stretching on a regular basis can help you become more conscious of your posture and gain body confidence.
  • Cardio: Engaging in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart and great for burning excess calories.
  • Strength: When you add resistance based training to your routine, you may lose excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass, which helps your body to become more efficient at burning calories.
  • Endurance: Engaging in regular prolonged physical activity can improve your muscular strength and boost your overall endurance level.

Balanced Outer Nutrition

The pH balance of the skin has an impact on skin health and appearance. “pH” refers to “potential of hydrogen” and is a measure of acidity or alkalinity. Jacquie Carter, Director, Worldwide Outer Nutrition Education and Training, says that skin that is pH balanced has a balance between acidity and alkalinity. “It appears healthy, has a good moisture balance, looks plump and has a youthful glow. Skin that is too alkaline may be dry, inflamed and blemished,” said Carter.

On the other hand, lower pH levels of the skin indicate acidity, and may lead to oily skin, redness and irritation. If your skin is suffering, your pH balance may be to blame. This imbalance can be a result of poor diet, stress, smoking, lack of exercise, improper skincare regimen and more, said Carter.

So what can be done to promote skin health? According to Carter, wash your face with a facial cleanser designed for your skin type. Unlike most bar soaps, most face specific cleansers will break down dirt and oil, but won’t disrupt the pH balance of the skin. Making a few simple adjustments to your lifestyle can encourage good pH balance in your skin and healthy, balanced skin is what we all strive for.