Nutrition Tips For Beginners

Posted September 22, 2011 in Diet, Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition Tip 8 Comments »

Starting Off Slow With Basic Nutrition Tips

Many trying to maintain a healthy diet struggle to understand how good nutrition works and/or how it should be applied. This confusion is often compounded by conflicting “expert” nutritional advice. However, the simplest approach to good nutrition is remembering that all nutritional substances should be ingested to promote health and prevent disease.

Nutrition Tips

It’s also important to remember that food choices aren’t just about weight, as food choices can greatly reduce or increase the likelihood of a person developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. As far as overall health, food plays a major role in energy, memory, mood, and sleep.

Since good nutrition hinges on life-long lifestyle choices, it will never involve starving, cutting out vital food groups, or completely depriving yourself from food that is enjoyable. None of the above is congruent with sustainability, and is the main reason that “fad diets” never result in good nutrition or a maintainable weight. Good nutrition has everything to do with eating smart foods…in a smart way. Try the following nutrition tips to get you on the path to smart eating:

Start Slow and Simple

Don’t abandon unhealthy choices all at once, as this will usually lead to binge eating. Focus on slowly replacing unhealthy food sources with healthier choices. For example, one might gradually replace tater chips with fresh vegetable chips. Try to take existing unhealthy recipes and alter unhealthy ingredients one at a time. For example, a recipe that calls for butter or vegetable oil might be amended to utilize olive oil. Even a simple sandwich can be altered to be more nutritious by changing white bread to whole grain, ham to turkey breast, and mayo to mustard. Eventually, you will be able to make every food choice nutritionally sound.

Don’t Mindlessly Eat

Stop and think about the food – Am I eating this to sustain me or soothe me? Food is too often used as an emotional crutch or mindless action. It can be helpful to disassociate food with cars, television, and computers. It’s easy to just gulp something down when your mind is on driving vs. actually eating. It’s also easy to mindlessly eat when distracted by a television and computer. Whenever possible eat at a table and take the time to properly chew and savor food. Keep in mind that it takes 20 minutes for the brain to realize that the stomach is full; so, eat slow and stop eating before actually feeling full. Plan meals out to include several small meals throughout the day, which will help keep energy and metabolism up for weight loss.

Think of Fitness as an Essential Food Group

Fitness training is just as essential as any of the food groups and dieting tips. Optimal health can’t be achieved through exercise without healthy eating or healthy eating without exercise. A simple routine strength training program should be included in all exercise regimens. It’s important to start the training with the proper resistance size. A good guide is a size that fatigues you after about 12 repetitions. If you aren’t able to use correct form, that too is a sign that the weight is too heavy. Start out with a twice a week fitness plan with 4 to 5 sets of 12 reps with or without fitness equipment. Many professional trainers recommend aiming for muscular failure, where the muscle can’t possibly do anymore, after the first month of strength training.

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8 Responses to “Nutrition Tips For Beginners”

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  2. I would definitely agree to Aaron B and Jenny Canter’s point of view. It is very important to know first the real purpose why you are in diet ans second is to take things slowly. Attaining a perfect form is a long process and requires patience and never-say-die attitude.

  3. I can definitely relate to your first point about starting slow. I am definitely an ‘all or nothing’ person which makes healthy changes hard for me because I do jump into them completely instead of easing into the slowly.

    Thanks for the timely reminder to take things slowly.

  4. “Am I eating this to sustain me or soothe me?” That is a really great question to ask yourself to stay on track!

    It could also be good to start replacing “soothing” and “coping” foods with healthier alternatives, so that if someone really cannot control themselves when they are feeling emotional, then they can “sooth” with something that would hopefully have a more positive effect on their body as opposed to negative.

    This could potentially be helpful until they get completely disciplined to control themselves to simply not eat “just because.”

  5. When people come to me for advice about changing their diet, I always recommend that they don’t make wholesale changes. Start by changing the small things, if you drink softdrink, then just start you new eating plan by dropping softdrink out of your diet. The next week pick another vice, such as eliminating anything deep fried out of you diet, next week pick something else. After several weeks you will find that you have eliminated most of the crap out of your diet. If you try to make all of the changes at once it can seem too hard. If you make the changes gradually it becomes part of a lifestyle change.

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  7. Really good points.

    I am gradually making the transition to a much healthier lifestyle. I have totally cut out sodas out of my diet because I have found that they sabotage my workouts. I am also continually reducing the amount of sugary and processed foods I have everyday. They just make me lethargic and miserable.

    I do find that I use food as a means of satisfying my emotional needs when I am depressed, sad or angry :D. I am more conscious of when that happens and I’m taking steps to to avoid it.

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