Table of Contents
Better balance is made for those who:
• Habitually consume processed meals or snacks
• Tend to over-consume fatty fats
• Need a flexible plan less reliant on tracking
• Are seeking a healthier relationship with food
• Are looking to improve their insulin or cholesterol levels
As children, we were told to finish our vegetables. We were told to save that piece of chocolate till after dinner. Somewhere along the way however, this sentiment can become lost. Children become adults and suddenly, there is nothing stopping us from overeating over-processed and nutrient lacking foods. Better Balance is here to combat that.
On this diet plan you’ll learn how to balance eating foods you enjoy without sacrificing any of the vitamins or minerals. Yes, you can eat that cookie but save it till after a meal composed of lean proteins and veggies. Better Balance is all about adjusting your outlook on food to make eating fresh, whole food options delicious and satisfying.
On the Better Balance plan:
• Calories form the baseline
• Sugar and saturated fat drive BITES up
• Protein drives BITES down
How to Get Started
We know that starting a new diet is challenging so we created a step-by-step list of things to keep in mind as you ease your way into this new way of eating.
1. Go Easy on Yourself
New diets take a while to get used to and you may not be successful from the get-go. If you go over your BITE allowance the first day, do not be discouraged. Your body will need time to adjust. It may take some experimenting but eventually you will find what works best for you!
2. Utilize Zero-BITE Foods
The beauty in the Better Balance plan is the 200+ Zero-BITE food list! In fact, you could easily create a ton of well balanced, tasty meals that are extremely low in BITES. Take advantage of this by making Zero-BITE the bulk of your meals. It also means less tracking!
3. Don't Forget Your Grains
Although the Zero-BITE food list include a ton of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, you still need to consume your grains! A good rule of thumb is to have 1/2 of your plate as non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and the other 4. Eat Responsibly 1/4 of your plate as 1/4 as a lean protein source.
4. Eat Responsibly
It's important to note that Zero-BITE foods do not equal zero calories. This plan gives you more responsibility to tune in to your hunger signals and only eat until full. It's easy to consume too many Zero-BITE foods (even if you're not going over your BITE allowance) resulting in stagnated weight loss (PRO members can turn on secondary metrics to keep track of this).
5. Drink Water
There are many benefits to drinking water. It keeps you hydrated but it also keeps you full. Sometimes thirst can even be confused for hunger. The best thing to do is drink a lot of water and watch the cravings fade away. Aim for at least 8-10 cups a day, but this number may increase depending on the heat, exercise, and medications. Check with your doctor if you aren't sure.
To get the most out of the Better Balance weight loss plan, it is best to choose foods that are low in added sugar and saturated fat and high in protein.
Key Food Guidelines
● Take Advantage of Zero-BITE proteins. These are the leanest proteins you can choose and since they're Zero-BITES, you don't have to track them!
● Zero-BITE doesn't equal zero calories. Only eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed. You can easily surpass your calories for the day if you aren't careful about this.
● When in doubt, go fresh. Fresh, non-processed foods, are much more likely to be on the Zero-BITE list.
1 Day Sample Meal Plan
Breakfast: Veggie Omlet
● 1/2 cup spinach
● 1/4 cup mushrooms
● 1/4 cup onions
● 1 tbs. olive oil
● 2 eggs
● 2 tbsp. cheddar cheese
● Salt & pepper to taste
Sneak in your veggies with this flavorful yet low-BITE breakfast. Simply sauté your veggies in the oil, fold it in the omelet, and sprinkle your cheese. Pair your meal with your favorite Better Balance Zero-BITE fruits!
Lunch: Summer Salad
● 3 cups arugula (or your lettuce of choice)
● 4 oz. grilled shrimp
● 1/4 cup cubed watermelon
● 1/4 cup blueberries
● 2 tbsp. feta cheese
● 2 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
● 1 tbps. walnuts (optional)
Dinner: Grilled Chicken and Rice
● 6 oz. chicken breast
● 1 tbsp. olive oil
● 1 tsp. lemon juice
● 1/2 cup brown rice
● 1/2 cup broccoli (or vegetable of your choosing)
● Your favorite seasonings
Finish off the day with a classic dish. Pair your grilled chicken with your favorite Better Balance Zero-BITE veggies to round it out. Lastly, add a side of brown rice for a fiber boost.
Best in Show: Greek Yogurt with Fruit
● 1/2 cup vanilla, non-fat, greek yogurt
● 1 tbsp. low fat granola
● 1/4 cup strawberries
● 1/4 cup blueberries
Our all around snack winner for Better Balance is non-fat, greek yogurt! A half cup will boast about 10 grams of protein with less than 1 gram of saturated fat. Top it off with your favorite Zero-BITE fruits.
Low-Cal: Carrots and Hummus
● 1/4 cup hummus
● 1/2 cup raw carrots
Sweet Fix: Healthy Peanut Butter Crackers
● 2 whole grain crackers
● 1 tbsp. peanut butter
● 2-3 strawberries to top
How to be Successful
Lastly, here are a few key habits that will undoubtedly help you find success in your weight loss journey.
1. Get Moving
Exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Find something you enjoy that gets your blood pumping. It’s a great way to let off some steam and release those coveted endorphins. Another plus: in-putting your activity into the app will grant you extra BITES!
2. Connect with the Community
We all need a little motivation here and there. Check out the community feature in the Healthi app to get your questions answered, find recipe inspiration, or receive praise on a recent milestone you achieved. We’re all in this together.
3. Track your Progress
It’s important to document your weight loss (or maintenance) journey. After all, that is why Healthi was created in the first place! Make it a habit to input your weight onto the app on a consistent basis and check out the weight trend graph (located on the profile tab) to see exactly how far you’ve come!
When you’ve come to a place in your journey when you’ve been hitting your goals and feel especially accomplished, it’s okay to celebrate! Pat yourself on the back and reward yourself! It’s important to let loose and remember to have fun.
The Science Behind It
Many people claim that they feel compelled to eat sugary foods, similar to how an alcoholic might feel compelled to drink. Interestingly, the pathways between these two scenarios are fairly similar. Our brain pathways are wired to respond to rewards (such as sugar or alcohol) in a way that produces neurochemical changes in the brain that lead to dependency. Avena and other researchers at Princeton University found that rats who had access to a sugar solution not only developed a pattern of excessive intake, but also had an increase in dopamine and opioid receptor binding, indicating that excessive sugar intake sensitized these receptors. This mechanism is similar to that of abusive drugs! Their hypothesis that rats can become sugar dependent could very well translate to the human condition.
Why Saturated Fat?
Sugar is only part of the equation when it comes to Better Balance. The other major component is saturated fat. From a chemical standpoint, saturated fats are simply fat molecules that have no double bonds between carbon molecules. This composition is what makes saturated fat solid at room temperature as opposed to healthier unsaturated fats like olive oil. Saturated fats have the ability to raise cholesterol levels, therefore putting you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, fats are highly hedonistic (our taste buds think fat is very palatable), which may facilitate compulsive eating due to its effect on a dopamine pathway similar to that of sugar.
Unfortunately, a lot of the meals we find palatable are high in both saturated fat and sugar. In fact, a recent study at the Yale University School of Medicine determined that people not only favor fatty or sugary foods, but place the highest value on those that contain both. This explains why fast food tends to be so sought after! A McDonald's Burger contains a hefty 11 grams of saturated fat (over half your recommended daily allowance) in addition to a whopping 9 grams of sugar! You can see this reflected in its exceptionally high BITE count.
The last part of the equation is protein, which we slightly reward you for consuming! This is because we want to make sure you are achieving a well-balanced diet profile. In addition, protein may reduce your cravings and keep you satisfied for a longer period of time. One study by researchers from Missouri State University found that increasing protein intake to 25% of total calories reduced cravings by 60%.
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