Good health depends on proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is essential to help the body repair, rebuild, and maintain the cells, tissues, and organs of the body for optimal function and health.
This is why, as part of your individual health and fitness plan we include nutritional guidance. This includes developing and maintaining a food log, ongoing tracking of calories and body measurements.
Leading an active lifestyle, getting adequate exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are all critical for overall health as well as having preventative and protective effects on health. This is a fact. Unfortunately, what many people overlook is nutrition. You can be as active as possible and be at your ideal weight but still be unhealthy or have subpar health because of poor nutritional habits. Don’t waste your efforts in the gym by sabotaging them at meals. Nutrition is a crucial and essential component to a healthy lifestyle and weight management.
Although there is a bit of controversy over what a “proper diet” looks like, there are some basics that hold true regardless of your preferred diet plan. Of course there are special considerations that should be made for special diets due to medical or personal beliefs (vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, etc.) but barring any of those, here are some home-run ‘must do’ nutritional habits you should adopt:
Water and plenty of it!! We hear it all the time but that’s because it’s vital to our cells functioning and metabolism. People so often forget that some of the drinks and foods they consume deplete the body of water and that needs to be replaced as well as consuming an adequate intake for optimal performance. The general guideline is 2 liters of water a day. To consider those that are more active, a better approach may be the ‘ounce per pound’ rule. Using this guideline you should consume ½-1oz of water per pound of body weight.
Eat your fruits and veggies! And mix it up. Each fruit and vegetable have different color pigments and those pigments contain various and diverse types of phytonutrients, biochemicals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. This ensures you’re getting every type and form of nature’s preventative medicine. What’s the goal? For adults consume 7-9 servings/day (5 vegetables and 4 fruits). It’s a lot easier than you think to get those in.
Choose whole grains. Avoid anything white or enriched. That means they stripped the product of all its goodness and fortified it with certain mandated vitamins and minerals. What this means for your body is increased inflammation, increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, and loss of vital micronutrients.
Eat nuts! If you think you don’t like any…find one you do. There are so many kinds of nuts out there you’re bound to find one you like and it is worth it. Although each nut has its own star power, regardless of the type of nut consumed, studies have shown that those who consume nuts daily have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, better arterial health, lower LDL levels, and maintain a healthier weight.
And whenever possible choose organic. At a minimum choose what/when to buy organic based on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ and ‘Clean Fifteen’ rule.
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
Clean Fifteen (generally lowest in pesticides)
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes