At Balance Box we’ve delved into the wonderful world of chocolate in search of the answer (or justification) to the question: ‘Are there any benefits to eating chocolate?’. We found that it all depends on the approach you take. So, before you squeeze into your running shorts and steam some broccoli, you may find that chocolate can provide you with some essential nutrients.
What is it?
Dark chocolate is made purely of cacao solids, cacao butter and sugar. The minimum amount considered to provide you with the health benefits is 70% cocoa solids. Naturally, the higher the percentage the richer its health credentials but perhaps leave anything > 90% to the connoisseurs. Still, like with anything, there are exceptions. Just like coffee beans, cacao beans come in a variety of flavours.
How can I have chocolate without it having a negative impact on my health (and waistline)?
The all the time-tested advice is true – everything is moderation and quantity over quality. Balance is our expertise and chocolate should be no exception in the mix. Pay as much attention to the quality of the cocoa as the percentage of it in a bar. Choose an ethical high cocoa content bar for maximum benefits and try to let it melt in your mouth rather than chewing it – you eat less but feel more satisfied. For bonus points opt for a raw cacao bar to avoid the extraction of nutrients that can result from roasting cacao beans.
Why do Nutrition experts favour dark chocolate?
Chocolate is especially rich in certain vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc, perhaps a reason that cacao was given as medicine in previous centuries due to common deficiencies in people’s diets. Today we also know that it is the cacao bean that contains an antioxidant known as flavonoids. Flavonoids have been suggested to support heart health, have natural anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in polyphenols which may have cancer fighting properties, promote brain health and improve blood sugar levels – some say it’s the golden ticket to a healthier lifestyle.
We advise sticking to a simple winning formula – enjoy on occasion but not at every occasion. Its benefits are fantastic but it’s not one of your 5-a-day (yet!).
Do any of us know what we’re doing when we start our zero-waste journey?
Going shopping? – Don’t go unprepared, a list always helps, best not to go shopping when you’re hungry either, you might buy food and treats your eyes want!
Do you plan your meals every week? – Who does that? Not many, but making a weekly meal plan will help you waste less food, and help your purse strings too.
Reusable bags – Well you could remember to pack them before you go off to shop, but so many times we get caught out when we are just passing the supermarket and decide to do the shop there and then because it works right?. In which case, nothing wrong with using the plastic bags you did buy to carry home your goodies, to line the bins around the house. If you use them to line wastepaper bins you can use them over and over! Or if you are really good, fold up a ‘bag for life’ and leave it in the car or in your bag so it’s always there.
Glass or silicone food storage boxes – Now these really do help the environment because you won’t be using much aluminium foil or cling film. Win win!
Leftovers – You can make some yummy soups with leftover veggies, and super smoothies with leftover fruits. Don’t forget your freezer is your friend and can save you cooking on a day when you just don’t feel like it. Good to know something delicious is sitting in the freezer just waiting for you!
Composting – If you can compost anything you don’t use it will be a great help in the garden, fertilizing everything and helping them grow into fab food or flowers.
Cloths vs Kitchen Towels – How annoying we can’t recycle kitchen towels, the fibres are too short apparently and make for poor quality pulp, sigh, still, you can always switch to cloths instead.
At Balance Box, we make sure we use as much recyclable material as possible watch this video to see Jennifer Irvine talk about our responsible packaging.
Before you go Jenny Irvine (our founder) has one more useful tip for you “Make sure you recycle your healthy food delivery service Balance Box pots. If you’re like the Irvine family we reuse them, for anything from shaping veggie burgers to planting herbs!”
There you go, now you can get started on your zero-waste journey too!
Did you know over the course of our lifetime we have the same number of heart beats as a chicken? That’s approximately 2 billion beats in a lifetime. You’re probably wondering why we live longer than a chicken? This is because a chicken’s heart rate is about 275 beats per minute and ours is closer to 65 beats per minute.
The foods we eat can have a big impact on the structure and health of our heart. Use these heart healthy foods as a guide to create well-balanced and nutritious meals that could make a big difference in keeping your heart in good shape, whilst also minimising your risk of heart disease.
Eat fatty fish high in omega-3 like salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring and trout
Leafy greens are a great source of vitamin K and are known for their wealth of minerals and antioxidants. So, enjoy plenty of spinach, kale, collard greens and swiss chard in your diet.
Berries such as: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich with antioxidants and nutrients that can play an important role in heart health.
Nuts like walnuts and almonds are a great source of fibre and packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy heart.
Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, rye and whole wheat are all whole grains that include the germ, endosperm and bran – the nutrient rich parts.
Avocados are rich in monosaturated fats that are linked to lower cholesterol, believed to contribute to a healthy heart.
Chia, flax and hemp seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and protein. These may boost our heart health by reducing inflammation, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Autumnal coloured vegetables such as red peppers, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, acorn squash are rich in fibre and antioxidants that may be protective against cardiovascular disease.
If you are looking for the perfect at home facial, then look no further. As there are some fantastic natural products that will work wonders for your skin, lying around in your kitchen already.
Honey is the star of the show!. It is wonderful for the skin as it contains anti-inflammatory properties, is naturally antibacterial and deeply nourishes the skin by calming and moisturising. Try using a ‘raw’ honey to maximise results.
Honey can be used to wash your face, as part of a scrub or as a luxurious face mask. See below 3 different honey face masks for your skin type.
Honey Face Mask for Acne Prone Skin
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
Honey Face Mask for Dry Skin
1 tablespoon honey
¼ avocado, mashed
1 tablespoon ground almonds
Honey Face Mask for Sensitive Skin
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon matcha powder (green tea leaves)
1 teaspoon sweet almond or jojoba oil
Once you’ve decided on your preferred mask combine all ingredients together and mix well. Start with clean skin and before applying the mask, lay a warm face cloth on your face to open up those pores. Apply the mask and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water to remove the mask and then rinse again with cold water or a toner to close the pores. Now use a good facial oil to lock in all the moisture.
Important – Please be aware that allergic reactions are possible, especially if you already have allergies to bees or pollen. We recommend always doing a patch test first, apply a small amount on your neck and let sit for a few minutes, and then remove to see how your skin will react before going on to the rest of your face.
It’s no secret that stress has become a common part of life and whilst there is nothing wrong with a bit of stress every so often, a lot of us nowadays struggle from chronic stress due to modern day living. Demanding jobs, lack of sleep, pressure, trying to maintain a social life and being constantly wired to our smart phones are all contributing factors.
In support of Mental Health Awareness week we’ve put together 6 ‘DIY’ tips to hopefully help you manage your stress levels.
Go for a walk or jog.
Fresh air and moving your body can calm and clear your mind in a matter of minutes. When you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed, try going for a brisk walk or jog to your nearest park or even just down a quiet(er) street nearby your work or home.
Take time for your meals.
Too often we eat on the go, in front of screens, in meetings, etc. Having all these distractions whilst we eat prevents us from properly digesting our food and can leave us feeling bloated and sluggish. Now that summer is on the way, why not take your lunch outside and enjoy the fresh air and natural vitamin D!
Single task instead of multi task.
Do you know that only about 2% of the world’s population can effectively multi task? So don’t feel discouraged if you struggle! Whatever you are doing, try and focus on doing just that thing; be it writing a report, replying to an email, cooking or having a conversation. Be present and focus solely on the one thing you are doing at a time. You’ll be far more productive this way.
Plan and Prioritise
Writing a to do list will make you feel more in control and less likely to be stressed the following morning and throughout the day. Prioritise accordingly – it’s usually the things we put off the most that need to be prioritised. Make sure you tick or cross things off your list too, it will increase your feeling of accomplishment and make it feel like there’s less on your plate!
We’d all love to have more hours in the day but trying to solve that problem by cutting down on your sleep is a losing game and you will actually become less productive and feel more stressed. Try to have a good and regular sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
Communicate your problems.
If something is worrying you or stressing you out, talk about it. Whether it’s to your close friend, family member, work colleague or health professional, expressing your worries and feelings to someone is important. There is no need to carry and deal with the burden all on your own, seek advice and help from people that care about you and if you feel you can’t talk to those close to you, there are amazing charities and organisations out there who can provide support and comfort. Don’t suffer alone, reach out if you are struggling with stress or any other mental health issue.
Mince pies, mulled wine, christmas pudding… it’s easy to over-indulge during the christmas period, and how could we not when access to these delicious foods is limited to just once a year? It’s a time when exercise and portion control seem to go out of the window and as the new year sets in, so does that slight sense of well-known food guilt.
On the first day of January we picture ourselves going for a run, drinking something green and being productive, but in reality the majority of us are nursing a sore head and telling ourselves that this will be our year…starting from tomorrow.
A new year means the opportunity for a new you, but when January hits, many of us feel in a bit of a rut. It’s difficult to know exactly where to start, so why not start with your diet?
If you’re feeling a bit lost or struggling to remember what a balanced diet even looks like- let us help you!
As an award-winning diet delivery service, we provide an easy and delicious way for you to get back on track – you won’t even realise you’re doing it!
Just in case you don’t already know – at Balance Box, we specialise in weight loss and healthy eating by using fresh, ethically-sourced ingredients to create calorie-counted dishes that achieve results without compromising on flavour. Each day, enjoy three tasty and filling meals which are carefully balanced and packed full of nutrients. These are topped up with tasty snacks and our own homemade fruit and nut bars to keep you energised and focused throughout the day.
No chopping, prepping or planning- we deliver straight to your door! Let us do the hard work so that you can get on with the important things.
At Balance Box, we have something to suit everyone! From our classic boxes to the free-from menu which caters for those who avoid gluten and cow’s dairy. Opt for the lighter boxes for more rapid results or the market plan for sustainable weight loss and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle.
You can order boxes for both you and your partner or a family member, enabling you to enjoy the same meals and track your progress together!
Alternatively, why not give the gift of convenience, taste and healthy living by treating someone you love to a box or monthly subscription?
It’s that time of year again- the end of the year in fact.
During the last few days of December the buzz of Christmas begins to die down and there is a sudden expectation that we start to think about our New Year’s Resolutions.
We like to say that we have a resolution and can’t help but feel a smug sense of accomplishment when we’re congratulated for setting a goal before the process has even begun. Everyone likes to have an aim, something to work towards – and what better time to start than on the 1st of January.
But 365 days is a long time and by March most of us can’t even remember what our resolution was! In fact, only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Success comes from staying true to what you said you would do days, weeks and months after you said you would do it. And this isn’t easy.
So how can we ensure that we stick to our resolutions (other than by resolving to give up making them all together!)?
Here’s 10 quick tips to bear in mind before 2019 is upon us.
This is your opportunity to let go of the guilt associated with not sticking to previous resolutions and make this year a success.
This is your New Year’s Absolution.
1 Make one resolution – not four!
It’s easy to get carried away and to find yourself with multiple resolutions. This can be overwhelming and will only compromise your ability to remember, commit to and invest time in each of them. So when it comes to setting your goal – choose quality over quantity and think carefully about your priorities. Refining your focus on one aim will increase the likelihood that you’ll reach it. After all – surely it’s better to accomplish one resolution of real value than to partially achieve (and give up on!) a variety of less important ones!
2 Is it realistic (and attainable!)?
Whilst there’s no harm in being ambitious, don’t be unrealistic!
Set a goal that is challenging but achievable given the time and resources that you have available to you. In doing this, you will avoid over-exerting yourself and being disappointed with any progress made that doesn’t meet unrealistic expectations.
3 Make it trackable
Track your progress! This is so important as it allows you to assess how you’re getting on. This doesn’t mean stepping on the scales every day or obsessing over your resolution. You can do this by setting yourself sub-goals which you aim to achieve each week or month.
This will keep you motivated and allow you to amend your method if it’s not working early in the year. A year is a long time so you have time to make sustainable alterations if need be.
4 Be pro-active
How will you go about achieving your New Year’s Resolution? What’s your method?
Write it down and create yourself a plan which will enable you to reach your goal. This may include joining the gym, getting up earlier, investing in a diary- you could even sign up to Balance Box so the food planning is done for you! You can order now by going to www.balancebox.com/
Take the time to sit and think about ways to keep yourself on track and how you will overcome any set-backs. Having a method will provide structure and ensure that you hit the ground running. Be pro-active – set a reminder on your phone, throw something out, check out our Balance Box menus www.balancebox.com/menus-balance-box/ – get the ball rolling and follow a plan to keep it moving!
5 Share it, but make it your own
Talk to your friends and family about your New Year’s Resolution, why it’s important to you and discuss ways in which they can help (or even join in!).
Surrounding yourself with support is essential but don’t forget that this resolution is your own. It’s really important to ensure that you’re confident and determined enough to independently make progress and don’t become reliant upon another person to keep you on track. Everyone has different schedules and motivations so make sure that you know yours and make it work for you.
6 Don’t follow the crowd
Don’t just resolve to lose weight because everyone is.
Think about what needs changing in your life and any bad habits that you have- it really doesn’t matter if they seem odd to other people!
7 Don’t kid yourself!
As tempting as it may be to jump straight into your new resolution, unsustainable and drastic alterations to your lifestyle will only set you up for injury, exhaustion or failure. Don’t aim to run 6 times per week if you’re not a runner or to lose 2 stone if you struggle to lose 2lb – ease yourself into the change. Start small (everyone has to start somewhere!), take your time and be patient – you have a whole year!
8 Be specific
How many times have you heard someone say ‘my New Year’s Resolution is too lose weight’, ‘to be more optimistic’, ‘to see the family more’.
These generalised goals aren’t doing anything to help you make progress. How much weight do you want to lose each month? How are you going to be more optimistic? Don’t scrimp on the detail – speak to one of our nutritional advisors about the best Balance box meal plan for you, decide to go to the gym every Monday, or to meditate on Saturday mornings before taking the kids to football.
Be specific and work it into your routine. If you consider how to achieve your goal in detail you will begin to see just how attainable it is.
9 Remind yourself why you’re doing it
Whilst the concept of New Year’s Resolutions is often mocked, the idea behind it is a good one and encourages positive change in people’s lives. It’s healthy to have goals – it keeps you ambitious, motivated and is likely to improve your life for the better.
So remind yourself why your resolution is important to you – talk about it, write it on a sticky note and acknowledge any benefits you start to see as you make progress.
10 Don’t give up!
It’s easy to make a resolution – it’s not so easy to stick to it.
The luxury of a New Year’s Resolution is that you have the time to go off track a bit and then re-gain control.
So be patient, be consistent and finish 2019 with a sense of real accomplishment.
We are all aware of the impact nutrition has on fuelling our bodies to take on the day, but what about the influence nutrition has on getting a good night sleep?
Sleep deprivation is not only leaving us feeling more tired, looking drained or with dark circles under our eyes – it is having a significant impact on our overall health.
Sleep is arguably the most undervalued component of health in modern society. It’s the first thing disregarded during times of stress or high pressure such as hitting that project deadline or juggling work and social life. We’ve all found ourselves up until the small hours cramming for an exam or preparing a presentation when in fact, improved concentration, a greater capacity to learn, as well as reduced stress levels are just a few of the potential benefits of a good night’s sleep.
Research suggests that impaired sleep can contribute to a number of health issues including weight gain, diabetes risk, impaired hormonal function and increased cravings for high sugar high fat foods to name a few. Good sleep management has also been shown to convincingly reduce the prevalence of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes – even without weight loss.
So, what can you do to improve sleep quality?
Eat a fibre-rich dinner
Supporting your gut is essential for improving your sleep as melatonin (a hormone that regulates night and day cycles, so your body knows when to sleep and wake) is not only released in the brain but in the gut too. A healthy gut will help to absorb more melatonin and promote better sleep. Foods rich in fibre include: fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, pulses and legumes.
Eat foods containing tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid which is converted into serotonin (a natural mood stabiliser) and contributes to improved sleep. Foods rich in tryptophan include: eggs, nuts, dates, tofu, chickpeas, buckwheat and fish.
Ensure adequate magnesium status
Magnesium plays a key role in muscle and nerve relaxation. Food sources include quinoa, nuts, green leafy vegetables, black beans and dark chocolate. Bathing in an Epsom salt or magnesium chloride bath can also raise magnesium levels in the body while relaxing and relieving soreness.
Limit caffeine intake
This one may not be revolutionary news, but it’s important nonetheless.
The stimulating effect of caffeine will persist for several hours – it takes around six hours for just half of the caffeine ingested to be eliminated, with this in mind, it’s not so surprising that one study found consuming caffeine even six hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by an hour. Caffeine works as a stimulant by delaying the onset of adenosine, a molecule which signals the brain to relax. It also delays the onset of GABA a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the nervous system. In addition, caffeine has also been shown to influence other chemicals such as dopamine, leading to increased brain activity and feeling alert…all in all not a great recipe for sleep!
While caffeine affects us all differently depending on a number of factors including: age, habitual intake and genetic makeup to name a few, if you are struggling to get consistently good quality sleep it is worth abstaining from caffeine after 2pm switching to caffeine-free herbal teas in the evening instead.
Opt for a lighter evening meal
Eating a large meal before you hit the hay has been shown to delay sleep latency, meaning it will take you longer to fall asleep. This could be due to a delayed secretion of melatonin and/or your gut still working to digest your food well past bed time. To encourage the onset of sleep aim to eat your evening meal no less than two hours before bed, if that’s not possible opt for a light, easily digestible dinner such as a simple salad or soup.
Limit screen time
The light omitted from phone and television screens inhibits melatonin release so try switching off an hour before bed to aid a restful sleep.
In modern society, time is a precious commodity – so why not protect your downtime, enable an earlier dinner, and free-up all breakfast and lunch preparation by letting our chefs do the hard work giving you your evenings back to relax, exercise and spend time with your family – all of which promoting a good night’s sleep.
‘Carbs’ have been a hot topic in the world of weight loss over the last few years. With many diet plans banishing them completely and others claiming we can only eat them at certain times, many of us have been left feeling confused and even guilty about consuming this essential food group.
To us at Balance Box, healthy eating is about balance and never deprivation or fads – we don’t neglect any food groups and believe that a healthy diet should be made up of healthy fats, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. In this blog, we will examine exactly what carbohydrates are and why we believe they are key to happy, healthy, long-term weight loss results.
What are carbs and complex carbs?
When people talk about ‘carbs’ they are typically referring to foods such as rice, pasta, bread, sweets and starchy vegetables like potatoes. However technically, carbs are the sugars, starches and fibres found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. They are broken down into glycogen (sugar) before being absorbed into the blood stream. Glycogen is used by your body for energy, fuelling all your activities, from going for a run to having a cup of tea!
You may have heard of the terms ‘simple carbs’ and ‘complex carbs’. Simple carbs include foods such as pastries, white bread, white pasta and other white floury foods, they are usually highly processed, high in sugar and calories with minimum nutritional value. These types of foods are what have given ‘carbs’ their bad name! On the other hand, complex carbohydrates such as whole grain breads and pasta, starchy vegetables and oats are nutrient dense. Foods containing complex carbs are digested by the body much more slowly – this can help maintain stable blood sugar levels, help you feel fuller for longer and potentially reduce your cravings for sugary foods and snacks, which can all contribute to us shedding a few pounds!
Why do we need carbs in our diet and how they can aid weight loss?
Carbohydrates are important to our health for a variety of reasons.
According to the NHS, carbohydrates should be the body’s main source of energy in a healthy balanced diet. In the absence of carbohydrates, your body will use protein (and fat) into glycogen for energy, however this isn’t ideal as the body needs protein to repair muscle.
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate which is extremely important for our digestive health and for regular bowel movements. Fibre can help improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and can assist in preventing some diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer, it also helps you to feel full – meaning less cravings (and biscuits) later!
By avoiding carbs or eating a diet very low in carbohydrates you could well become deficient in essential nutrients like B vitamins, zinc and iron, which are all essential in maintaining good health, good skin and feeling energised and well in our bodies. Interestingly, research has shown how important bacteria in our gut may be for our health, and it has been suggested that a fibre rich diet can help improve your good bacteria levels!
Studies have also shown that carbohydrates can make us happy! Carbohydrates are extremely important in the synthesis of serotonin, a chemical made in the body that contributes to wellbeing and happiness. Serotonin is also nature‘s own appetite suppressant! A well-balanced diet inclusive of carbohydrates is also found to improve sleep patterns, thanks again to serotonin and even improve brain performance and concentration!
Often when people try and cut out carbs to lose weight, they’re cutting out other high calorie ingredients that are mixed in with them such as butter, cheese, cream and oil and therefore it’s not necessarily the removal of carbohydrates alone that has caused weight loss. If we take a portion of mashed potato for example, usually you’d add a knob of butter and half a small cup of cream which can really rack up the number of calories. Eating too many calories – whether they are carbs, protein or fat – will contribute to weight gain. However, interestingly carbohydrates contain fewer calories gram for gram than fat, and starchy foods can be a good source of fibre as we mentioned earlier, which means they can be a useful tool for weight loss. Therefore, instead of removing the side of potato from your meal, a better solution would be to have a side of boiled new potatoes or sweet potato wedges, helping to satisfy your hunger and providing you with an abundance of nutrients.
How to eat the right kind of carbs for weight loss
At Balance Box we are passionate about creating yummy balanced meals. We love to take a classic comfort food dish, like a chicken curry, and give it a healthy twist by removing the traditional stodgy ‘simple’ carbs and replacing them with low GI grains like brown rice, or barley to keep you feeling energised, strong and happy in your body!
Making simple swaps for nutrient dense, healthy carbohydrates can be easy for example instead of using classic white pasta opt for spelt or brown rice pasta. Quinoa or brown rice taste delicious with curries or stews and if your feeling a little more creative, oats or polenta can be great swap for traditional fish or chicken with bread crumbs. Find more great swaps in our cook book – The Balance Diet (Available from Amazon.co.uk)
Although we are huge advocates of including carbs in our diets, we do also believe that moderation is key. Remember that eating too many calories – whether they are carbs, protein or fat – will contribute to weight gain. As a rule, we try and stick to around 4 tablespoons of wholegrains or pulses with each meal, half the plate filled with veggies and a piece of protein per meal – this will help to keep hunger at bay and it’s a practical tip to help with portion control, it’s also something our chefs and nutritionists stick to whilst prepping our meals!
Sustainable Weight Loss
When embarking on any new diet plan, the chances are you will lose a couple of pounds. The hard thing is keeping this weight off in the long term – the problem with ‘faddy diets’ is when you stop the program it is easy to go back to potentially bad habits. If a diet is very restrictive it’s much easier to fail and then reach for something calorific. If you choose a balanced diet, you’re more likely to be able to stick to the plan and change some of your habits for healthy ones in the long term meaning you’re less likely to put any weight back on.
Some of the healthiest cultures in the world such as the Japanese, Nordic and Mediterranean countries incorporate lots of complex carbohydrates into their diets. These cultures typically eat lots of whole grains, beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, oils and seafood while meat, sugary foods and refined carbohydrates take a back seat. This healthy way of life has influenced our programs here at Balance Box including recipes filled with these wonderful ingredients.
We are forever guilty of being too busy. How many times have you used lack of time as an excuse for not exercising or eating properly?
At Balance Box, we understand the demands of working long hours, family pressures or simply not having the motivation to cook. We take away the pressure of your meal times and do it all for you – the shopping, chopping, cooking and the delivery to your doorstep PLUS we give you a bit of motivation to keep going along the way.
Our approach – It’s about Balance
Staying on track with your healthy eating can be hard. With so much conflicting nutrition information, poor dietary advice and quick-fix promises, it can all be truly overwhelming.
The good news is that you don’t have to crash diet or do anything extreme in order to achieve your weight loss target. With Balance Box, you get delicious, ready-made food delivered straight to your door. Each day has its own nutritionally-balanced and calorie-controlled healthy eating plan designed by our expert nutritionists, helping you lose weight the easy (and tasty) way. No more deprivation diets, stress or setbacks.
Healthy Weight Loss
If your goal is weight loss, we believe that reducing calories by altering the portion sizes of your meals rather than restricting whole food groups is the most sustainable way of achieving long term results. This is why our boxes come in two different calorie options: the Lighter Plan (1200 calories/day) and the Market Plan (1800 calories/day). These two boxes contain the same food but served in different portion sizes to suit different individual goals. We want you to think of it as eating real, wholesome food and not simply consuming calories!
By making sure that the diet is balanced, you are not skipping on essential nutrients and you will not experience extreme hunger – quite the opposite! Our clients are always surprised to find how satisfied they feel even on the Lighter Plan.
Removing all carbohydrates altogether (even healthy options), for example, is a very common mistake some people make when trying to lose weight. Such extremes can lead to severe feelings of hunger if the diet is not carefully tailored to suit the individual’s needs. With all the added frustration this will eventually lead to over eating or not being able to stick to a diet plan long term. The end result: all the pain without the gain – all the hunger of a diet without the benefits of weight loss! We wonder how many of us can relate to this?
At Balance Box we approach weight loss in a much more complex way than simply counting calories. This is why we have a team of nutritionists that will acknowledge your individual needs and will be able to advise you accordingly. Cutting your calories too low may actually lead to weight loss plateaus, something we see very often.
The type of food you eat will make a huge difference to your total daily calorie intake. The calories in processed sugar, for example, will be digested quickly – this will in turn cause a quick rise in your blood sugar levels and it will make you crash soon after eating leaving you hungry, moody and tired! Our food excludes all processed ingredients and refined sugar. We look at the plans as a whole – including vegetables, fruits, healthy wholegrains, lean proteins and essential fats. All portioned adequately to leave you satisfied and energised.
We created our Balance Boxes with confidence that most of our clients will not only find it easy to follow but will also educate them about portion control and help them find a way of eating that they can keep up for good.
Have a read at our previous blog which is all about helpful weight loss tips if you are not achieving your desired results (add hyperlink).
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