- What should I eat?
- How much do I eat?
- Why is my food so important?
These are common questions people ask every day. If you struggle with your weight, or you’re trying to improve your eating habits, the answers to these questions might concern you even more.
Why a Nutrition Plan is a Good Idea
Weight management involves a lot of different factors, from eating healthy and exercising regularly to managing stress. All of these factors can result in weight loss and help with maintenance. For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on healthy eating. In the weight loss phase, this is arguably the most influential behavior change.
Good nutrition fuels and regulates both your mind and body. You need energy just to live, and even more energy to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Eating lean, energy-dense foods gives you fuel to move and function at your best without the health risks of excess weight. Additionally, foods rich with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients also work together to improve your health, and health is the sole reason for why Your Weight Matters.
3 Foundations of Nutrition
Everyone knows that good nutrition is important, especially for weight control. However, “good” may mean something different for different people. That’s why so many diets trends pop up, and this can be confusing!
Nonetheless, despite our different beliefs and values, there are three foundations of nutrition that pretty much all of us can agree on:
You really can have too much of a good thing. However, portion control and regulating the frequency at which you eat can help you control your calorie intake. These behaviors can also help in other areas such as energy levels, satiety, discomfort, concentration and more.
With moderation, you can even regain control of your mind. It can help you separate food from feelings and erase feelings of guilt or shame that often occur after eating too much. Remember, moderation is not the same as restriction. You should be able to enjoy the foods you love without overdoing it.
Similar to moderation, balance in your eating behaviors is essential for optimal health. Imagine all the nutrients your body needs. You need macronutrients, which are proteins, carbs and fats. You also need vitamins, minerals, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium and other key nutrients. While all are important, you need some in greater quantities than others. Too much of a certain food in your diet can have negative consequences.
For example, you wouldn’t want the majority of your meals to be high in carbs like bread, crackers and cereals. Such a diet would not only mean a lot more calories, but it can also leave you with high blood sugar levels. Balance, on the other hand, gives you the right amount of everything.
There are so many different foods out there, which means you’ve lucked out! Your body needs a lot of different nutrients. By adding variety to your diet, you’re giving your body the best shot at getting all it needs for optimal health. Consider each food group and all the different foods that belong in it. Then think of ways to add those foods to meals, snacks and more.
For example, let’s say you want more veggies to your diet. You wouldn’t want to only eat spinach, bell peppers and carrots. You would want to consider other veggies like squash, zucchini, bean sprouts, broccoli and leafy greens.
When looking at your diet, remember that all foods fit can fit. The above foundations of nutrition are all a part of every healthy eating plan. These behavior changes can also help you manage your weight and prevent health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, Sleep Apnea and even some cancers. The foods you eat do matter – and a thoughtful eating plan is the way to go!