Nutrition as we know it is the study of nutrients in food, how the body uses nutrients, and the relationship between diet, health and disease. It is the intake of food in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Simply put, it is the practice of consuming food and utilizing it. Nutrition identifies health conditions or issues that may be caused by dietary factors, like malnutrition, food allergies, metabolic diseases, etc.
The ‘Free dictionary’ describes nutrition as;
- The process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and for replacement of tissues.
- The science or study that deals with food and nourishment, especially in humans.
- A source of nourishment; food.
NUTRITION AND WEIGHT LOSS:
In this race for weight loss, it is the job of a nutritionist to tell you what each food, fruit or drink consists of. Ignorance when it comes to nutrition is a major barrier to people who want to lose weight. Here are some basic guidelines for a healthy nutrition:
- Calorie-intake control: it is ideal to reduce the calorie intake especially when the person concerned is not quite physically active. Weight gain occurs when the calorie consumed is much more than the calorie burnt. The secret is in consuming only the amount of calories ‘absolutely necessary’ for your body’s well being. The body then begins to burn the stored fat thereby leading to weight loss.
- Portion control: there are people who are on a “diet” yet they consume so much more calories than those who are not. That a meal contains low-carb or is low with regards to calorie content does not mean it should be consumed with no regard to quantity. The size of food consumed should be regulated. You need to be disciplined when it comes to portion control because it is the backbone of any effective meal plan or diet routine.
- Track meal compositions: keep track of the composition of each meal you eat. You need to know the nutritional content of each meal or snack you intend to take, check if the calorie content tallies with your targeted calorie intake.
- Maintain hydration: hydration is a vital part of a healthy diet. Make sure to drink lots and lots of water. Water allows nutrients to travel to the major organs in the body, helps remove waste, and helps maintain function in the joints and organs. At least 8 glasses of water a day is recommended for a healthy diet. In order to aid weight loss, a little lemon is also recommended for each glass of water (most especially, the first glass of water in a day).
- Consistency: the most successful people in weight loss are people who reduce caloric consumption in their diet slowly but consistently. Avoid inconsistent changes in caloric intake and portion control, rather aim at a steady and controlled progress.
The most common error people make is being too strict to their self. They find it difficult to forgive their selves when they cheat on a diet plan and eventually give up the plan entirely as a result. You need to allow yourself a few treats once in a while to avoid completely falling off track. So many nutritionist and dieticians include cheat days on their meal plan, giving weight loss a hint of fun.
NOTE: avoid sugars, cholesterol, salt and saturated fat. Instead eat low-fat protein, beans, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts and poultry.
Another major error people make is skipping meals. Studies have linked skipping meals to obesity. Rather than skip a meal, opt for a healthy snack. Skipping meals tend to make you feel hungrier and lead you to possibly eat more at your next meal.
In the end, simply make sure to consult a nutritionist and make it a habit to check the nutritional facts of any food or drink you wish to consume.