There is never a bad time for you to take stock of your health and wellness. A great place to start is to focus on the nutrition your body is getting and how you are taking care of yourself. It can seem like a massive undertaking, but you can start small and make big changes over time. This post is a guide to achieving your nutrition goals so you get inspired and take the next step.
Understand Food Labels
Taking the time to understand what food labels mean and what’s in your food is essential. Reading food labels helps you to know what you’re putting into your body and how it affects your health. Having that knowledge can help you make better choices and create an effective nutrition plan.
When reading food labels, there are several vital components to look for. The first is the serving size. The following key component is the calories. This number will tell you how many calories are in a single food serving. For example, if the label says a single serving contains 200 calories but has two servings, you’ll be consuming 400 calories if you eat the whole thing.
The third key component is the macronutrient content: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Macronutrients are essential for your body but the macronutrient ratio you consume should reflect your goals. The last key component is vitamins and minerals. Knowing this can help ensure you get enough of the essential nutrients your body needs.
Make a Realistic Plan
Once you understand what’s in the food you’re eating, the next step to achieving your nutrition goals is to make a plan so you can make realistic changes to your diet. When creating your nutrition plan, you must be honest about what you can and can’t do. Trying to make too many changes too quickly or changes you can’t stick up to can be overwhelming and lead to failure.
Set realistic goals for yourself. Ask yourself what you’d like to achieve and ensure your goals are attainable. For example, if you want to lose weight, start by setting a goal to lose one to two pounds weekly. This realistic and achievable goal will help you stay on track.
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods
Once you have a plan, the next step is to boost your nutrition by including nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function correctly. Whether this is heading to the store to purchase these foods or you want to try a 5-day cleanse made with nutrient-dense foods.
An excellent place to start is to focus on eating whole foods. These are foods found in nature, are unprocessed, and have no additives or preservatives. Examples of whole foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Another way to boost your nutrition is to include superfoods in your diet. Superfoods are especially rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Examples of superfoods include blueberries, avocados, kale, chia seeds, and salmon. You can also incorporate superfood blends.
Finally, make sure to include healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats are essential for your body and can help you stay fuller longer. Examples of healthy fats include olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados.
Address Your Gut Health
Gut health, the status of your microbiome (the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract) is not only essential to achieving your nutrition goals but for immune function and inflammation regulation. The gut is involved in nutrient absorption, detoxification, and mood regulation as well.
You can increase your good-to-bad bacteria ratio and improve your gut health by regularly eating organic vegetables and fruits, fermented foods and drinks, and supplementing with a probiotics/ prebiotic blend. Look for probiotics without added sugar, gluten, casein, or soy, and with more than one strain of lactobacillus and bifidobacteria.
Achieving your nutrition goals is a long-lasting journey, it’s not a sprint. By understanding food labels, making a realistic plan, eating nutrient-dense foods, and addressing your gut health, you have the right foundations in place to give yourself the best chance of making changes you can sustain and improve your health.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor