It’s not always easy to get all the nutrition you need on a daily basis. Are you really making the effort, though? A great exercise is to track your food intake for a week. Do this and see how your outcome stacks up against suggestions for nutrition. You might be (unpleasantly) surprised at the outcome but could take it as a great opportunity to make positive changes.
If you measure your diet against the suggested food pyramid, how well are you doing? The definition of nutrition for most resides in the outcome. How do you look? How do you feel? Are you happy with your weight?
You know that you need a combo of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to be able to function. Your needs include:
- Vitamins: A, B, C, K, and others.
- Minerals: iron, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, zinc, and others.
- Protein, fats, fibre…
Tracking your nutrition for a week with your typical diet can demonstrate where you are lacking in terms of meeting the definition of nutrition. Most of us have a handful of go-to meals that we repeatedly eat out of habit, out of culture, and out of desire. Once you look at a typical week, it could reveal several things:
- Deficiencies in specific vitamins and minerals.
- Excess amounts of a particular area, such as a really high fat ratio.
- Low ratios, such as low protein, but very high carbohydrates.
How do you track if you’re meeting the definition of nutrition? There are many free calorie counting products (Fitday.com, MyFitnessPal.com, and others) These can help you track your calories, your exercise (for calories burned), and your nutrition levels.
If you determine that you aren’t getting enough vitamin K, you can look up foods rich in vitamin K and adjust your diet. Incidentally, a lot of people find that this is an area they have difficulty in meeting requirements for. Broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, celery, okra, seaweed, and some beans can help in this area.
If you can see that you’ve got a problem meeting the daily requirements for calcium, either because you don’t consume enough dairy, because you’re lactose intolerant and have trouble consuming enough calcium rich foods, etc, you could elect to make a concerted effort to increase your calcium intake and / or take a supplement. (supplements can be very effective but it’s always advisable to do your best to get your nutrition through food wherever possible).
Understanding the definition of nutrition and keeping it in mind with meal planning is wise and can help you get more variety into your diet. And the added benefit of working hard at doing this is that your concerted effort to eat nutrient rich foods will result in your starting to weed out the less than healthy items that dominate your diet today, which will ultimately positively improve your wellness levels and could result in weight loss as well.