- What should I eat?
- How much do I eat?
- Why is the food I eat important?
These are common questions people ask every day. If you’re trying to manage your weight and health, the answers to these questions might concern you even more.
Defining Your Nutrition Plan – Why Do I Need One?
There are many aspects that make up successful weight management, and all of them combined result in healthy weight-loss and weight maintenance. Alongside behavior modification and consistent physical activity, a well thought-out nutrition plan can help you reap the benefits of a healthier mind and body.
Simply put, nutrition fuels and regulates your body. You require energy to live your daily life, and even more energy to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Eating lean, energy-dense foods provides the fuel you need to move and keep your body functioning without the physical risks of excess weight. Additionally, eating foods rich with the correct vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can help you operate at your very best, and that’s why your weight matters — for your overall health!
The 3 “Must Have’s” of a Successful Plan
Sure, you know that good nutrition habits are key to successful weight weight management, but what exactly does that mean? When we talk about “habits” that are beneficial to your goals, we’re talking about:
- and Variety
Yes, it’s really true – you can have too much of a good thing. Portioning the amount you eat and regulating the frequency with which you consume food helps control calorie intake among other things. Practicing moderation helps you regain control of your mind, separate food from feelings and prevent your body from feeling the effects of too much food (i.e. weight gain, lethargy and bloating).
Similarly, the balance of the foods you eat also helps ensure your body is performing at its best. Imagine all the kinds of nutrients your body needs. You’ve got protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, just to name a few. While all of these nutrients are important, you need some in greater portions than others. Too much of a certain food group in your nutrition plan can produce negative results.
For example, you wouldn’t want the majority of your meals to be rich in carbohydrates such as breads, crackers and cereals because you risk excess calories, altered blood sugar levels, etc. Balance, on the other hand, gives you the right amount of everything.
There are so many different kinds of foods out there, and that’s because your body needs a lot of different nutrients! By adding variety to your diet, you’re giving your body the best shot at acquiring all it needs to function efficiently for your needs. Consider each food group and all the different types of food which belong in it. Then, think of ways to add those foods to meals, snacks and more!
For example, let’s say your looking to incorporate more vegetables into your nutrition plan. You wouldn’t want to stick only to spinach, corn and potatoes. You would want to consider other foods such as squash, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, bean sprouts, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
When looking at your diet, it is important to remember that all foods fit into your plan. By following the above-mentioned 3 key “Must Have’s,” you’re helping to manage your weight and fight-off other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, Sleep Apnea and even some cancers. The foods you eat do matter – and a strategic nutrition plan is the way to go!