Does Nutrition Play a Major Role In Creating A Healthy Lifestyle?
Posted Oct 02 2008 4:23pm
Some diet and nutrition plans might sound good on the surface but there are many things to consider when ensuring proper nutrition in your meal plan.
Some people try to reduce or eliminate their carbohydrate intake when dieting because by reducing carbohydrates you reduce the sugar in your system. The problem is that since carbohydrates provide glucose and glucose provides energy to the cells in the body, this may not be the best solution.
There are two types of carbohydrates you may be aware of; simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates metabolize quickly, increasing the amount of glucose in the blood and then storing some of the leftovers in fat cells throughout the body.
Complex carbohydrates on the other hand, are slower to turn into sugar in the bloodstream and the glucose is usually used before being stored in surrounding fat cells. Obviously everyone is different and each person's individual metabolism rate will ultimately determine how fast these carbohydrates will metabolize within the body.
By focusing on better food nutrition, taking nutritional supplements, eating nutrition bars, fruits, vegetables and the like, not only will you create a healthier lifestyle but you'll also be able to better control your weight day in and day out.
It's pretty much common knowledge that in order to lose weight a person has to consume less calories than their body burns off throughout the day.
The biggest myth people have fallen victim to is that they think the less they eat, the more weight they'll lose. This couldn't be further from the truth.
You see, when you don't feed your body in an effort to lose weight, what you're actually doing is starving your body and when your body is not receiving it's "fuel," it goes into starvation mode.
Now when this happens, your body begins to use the protein in the muscle as it's backup source of energy. Have you ever noticed people who go on diets, lose weight but still look flabby? That's because they're losing lean muscle through the starvation process and when they hit their goal weight and begin to eat "normally" again, they almost always gain back the weight they lost and MORE.
There really is no single diet plan that will offer the same benefits for everyone, but considering the purpose of the diet, nutrition information must be used when developing an individual plan. For the right plan with the right nutrition for each individual, it may be necessary to seek professional advice.
If you're like me, you'd rather figure out your own daily caloric intake numbers. If that's the case, here's an easy calculation you can use to figure out how many calories you should be consuming on a daily basis.
The calculation is as follows:
Your Weight x's 10 = ________ x's (Activity Level)______ = Your Daily Caloric Intake (to stay the same weight)
1.4 = Not very active 1.6 = Semi-Active 1.8 = Very Active
Let's take a 200 lb. male and figure out how many calories he would need to eat each day to stay at 200 lbs.
200lbs. x's 10 = 2,000 x's 1.6 = 3,200 calories/day to stay at 200 lbs.
Here's what you would do if you're trying to LOSE WEIGHT.
If you are trying to LOSE 1 lb./wk, you would subtract 500 calories from your diet each day.
If you're trying to LOSE 2 lbs./wk, you would subtract 1,000 calories from your diet each day.
3,200 - 500 = 2,700 Calories/day to LOSE 1 lb./wk 3,200 - 1,000 = 2,200 Calories/day to LOSE 2 lbs./wk
Now, if you're trying to GAIN WEIGHT, just do the exact opposite.
If you are trying to GAIN 1 lb./wk, you would ADD 500 calories to your diet each day. If you're trying to GAIN 2 lbs./wk, you would ADD 1,000 calories to your diet each day.
3,200 + 500 = 3,700 Calories/day to GAIN 1 lb./wk 3,200 + 1,000 = 4,200 Calories/day to GAIN 2 lbs./wk
You might be wondering why we use 500 and 1,000 calories to figure out how we gain or lose weight.
It's actually because there are approximately 3,500 calories in a pound. If you divide 3,500 by 7 days in the week, you'll come up with + or - 500 calories a day. Pretty cool huh?!
These days when people are pushing for weight management, many people still seem to forget an important part of any diet plan; making sure your body gets the correct nutrition it needs.
While many people are exercising and counting calories, they still may be overlooking the correct amount of calories that their body needs to supply energy to the body.
Many people will cut out several foods in their diet not realizing that some of those foods provide the needed sources of nutrition and actually put their health at risk.
Up until 2005, the Department of Agriculture had a food pyramid that listed four major food groups and had recommendations of how much to eat from each food group. They listed their recommendations from each food group in order to have the proper nutrition in your diet and since then have expanded to the food pyramid to six groups.
We highly recommend taking a look at the newest food pyramid (below) as your guide to building and maintaining a health and nutrition regimen that works best for you.