What is Good Nutrition?
There are many factors which make up the notion of Good Nutrition – Read on to find out how you can make better and more informed choices for your nutrition.
Food gives us energy, which is usually measured in calories. Too little calories and it can affect reproduction, some aspects of metabolism and brain function, too many calories also causes problems, inflammation can increase and blood pressure goes up, amongst other issues.
Good nutrition helps ensure that we don’t eat too little or too much, so we can stay healthy, fit and strong.
Good nutrition gives us nutrients. Each food has a certain nutrient density - or nutrients per amount of food.
Can you picture several plates? Each one full of one type of food.
A plate of kale, lentils, cookies, salmon, berries and saltine crackers.
Now ask yourself for each plate of food:
How many calories (energy) per plate of food?
How many nutrients are on each plate?
Take the cookies for example, lots of calories, very few nutrients, this is called low nutrient dense.
On the other hand the plate of kale, very high in nutrients, but few calories. This is called high nutrient density.
Usually when people start a “diet program” they start to become more aware of their intake and start eating better overall, they get more nutrients, they may get more of a variety of foods, or fresher , less processed foods or foods they choose more mindfully.
It’s because of these factors they feel better. They make claims that the new diet has rejuvenated them.
They didn’t do anything too special, really.
They just started getting what their bodies needed.
Good nutrition helps us look, feel and perform our best.
Good nutrition and good coaching will help you to do what is most important to you, without letting other things get out of balance.
Take a competitive athlete, they need to be focused on performance, the right weight and strength is crucial to the sport they’re competing in. Therefore, the nutrition they require will be very specific in alignment with their goals and activity level.
The everyday person may want to simply live healthier and better, they may be parents that want to outrun their children, or grandparents that want the same but also to live a long healthy life free of disease.
Good nutrition will achieve these results, it will also keep the bone and muscle that keeps them active and mobile.
Good nutrition is about helping you Look better. Feel better. Perform better. Live better and generally be the best version you can be.
As nutrition coaches, we take a holistic approach to good nutrition. We help you balance specific goals with general benefits - maybe even benefits you didn’t think were possible.
Good nutrition is sustainable.
Sometimes there can be short cuts for short term gains, ideally good nutrition is about the marathon and the bigger picture.
Can we keep doing what we’re doing now? For how long?
Sustainability is part of good nutrition:
In a clients individual journey:
We need to build behaviours that last, or that a person is able to do for life.
In terms of global food systems:
Can we keep eating and producing food the way we are now? For how long? (Research shows that we waste 30-50% of all food produced) (There are many controversial shows currently on Netflix – one of them being Seaspiracy – that will be another blog post)
Whilst global food production has increased, malnutrition and starvation are still huge problems worldwide, and more crops that never are being grown to feed livestock (not people) sad isn’t it?
With a planet that isn’t growing but population is, our food decisions need to be more sustainable and considerate towards the environment than ever before.
Lucky for us, what helps the planet actually helps our bodies and health. That’s why good nutrition is about finding a diet that is sustainable for us and the planet.
Good nutrition asks people to be aware of their food and eating.
Research shows that paying better attention to what you actually consume is more important than the actual choices you are making.
We make poor food choices when we are in a rush, busy and of course, stressed!
Why? We tend to ignore our body’s natural hunger and fullness cues (I have been caught out many times)
We make better choices when we commit to caring about food, slowing down, paying attention and eating mindfully. No “rules“, overthinking or calorie counting needed.
Try it at your next meal - unless you are already meal prepping.
Think about the chewing, feel your food going down, try to feel yourself getting full, add a glass of water or two
Good nutrition promotes regular movement.
Good nutrition fits with regular activity like a key into the right lock. The more we move, the better our body works, and the more our nutrients can work for us.
When you start paying attention to your eating, you usually start thinking about physical activity too. Or vice versa. If you start an activity you love, you will eventually start wondering and researching/asking how your nutrition could help you do that activity better.
Movement and nutrition go hand in hand.
Good Nutrition is Outcome Based.
Every choice you make with your nutrition will lead to a result. Results can be measured. Results tell us about reality. And results tell us: What to do next?
Most people when asked about how well they eat on a scale of 1-10, they think they eat well, but don’t use data to test that perception against objective reality.
The answers often don’t match the persons real-life body composition, health and/or performance.
This is why it’s good practice to take measurements from results, multiple results, on multiple occasions to inform future decisions.
When deciding what a person needs, as coaches we collect data, review the data and make decisions based off this data. Everyone’s situation is unique, so trial and error is a must.
To see what works best for you!
If you have found this information useful, leave a comment, share it.
It will be much appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time to read.