We have all heard that proper nutrition is important for our health and well-being, but what exactly is it?
While nutrition is defined as the sum of all food consumed by a person, that doesn’t tell us much. Adding further definition to the word nutrition, we all know that nutrition plays a major role in almost all aspects of our lives.
Nutrition in Our Daily Lives
Nutrition plays a role in…
- The visual – how much we weigh, how we look, the shape of our bodies, our appearance and skin tone.
- The mental- how we think, solve problems, concentrate, remember things, how we handle stress.
- The physical – how we benefit from exercise, how much energy we have.
So, if nutrition is much more than weight gain or loss, how do we change the role nutrition plays in our lives?
First, we need to consider nutrition goals and get beyond the scale. Proper nutrition comes at the intersection of four important goals:
- Body Composition
- Performance – in the gym, at work, in life
- Sustainability (Can I sustain the way I eat? And if it is a priority of yours, is what I eat sustainable for our environment?)
The Role of Food
Second, we need to think about what we eat and the role food plays in our bodies.
- Vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and starchy tubulars (carbohydrates) are the body’s preferred source of fuel. Vegetables especially have nutrients the body needs to produce energy and do most everything in the body.
- Fats are the body’s main source of energy. They help with tissue structure and hormonal balance.
- Meat, dairy, eggs repair and recycle tissues. They keep cells young. Protein is important in times of stress when the body is producing stress hormones that break down muscle and tissue.
For most of us, a change in diet means changing what we eat. The easiest things to do are:
- Reduce sugar and processed food
- Increase the amount of whole or real foods
- Increase the amount of protein
- Increase the amount of good fats
- Improve the quality of carbohydrates in our diet
The Timing of Meals
Third, we need to consider the timing and the structure of our meals.
- Eating a complete meal every 3-4 hours will keep hunger at bay and our performance steady throughout the day. Eating one or two large meals when hungry encourages larger portions and “gobbling” our food down quickly.
- Structure the meal with a balance of lean protein, vegetables, good fats and ,if you have exercised ,add some smart carbs.
- Smart carbs would be whole grains, fruit and starchy tubulars.
Fourth, look at your food habits.
- Eat slowly
- Eat to 80% full
- Consider the beverages you consume
- Consider how you eat in response to stress or boredom
When you think of proper nutrition, think about what you eat, when you eat and how often you eat. Set your goal – do you want to improve your health, change the way your body looks, or enhance your body’s performance? Perhaps all of the above? Start today – achieving a good nutritional balance may be easier than you think.
Stop wasting your time on your own and get the push you need!
Call Pam (630-653-8152) or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation.
Get your workouts in! Receive nutritional input and guidance! Enjoy being strong, fit and healthy!
To learn more please visit our website: Strand Fitness
Strand Fitness is a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630-653-8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation.
Photos courtesy of Dana Bujalski