Few people who are trying to lose weight find learning about dietary nutrition to be fun despite their desire to eat better. Along with exercise, eating in a highly nutritious way is important for a lifetime of fitness. How can someone learn to eat better without getting bogged down by all the nutritional information, however? Nutrition can be made easy.
It’s as simple as one, two, and three.
One: The Basic Food Groups
Become familiar with the basic food groups. These are basically, the Protein/Meat Group (e.g. eggs, chicken, beef, beans), the Fruit/Vegetable Group (e.g. apples, celery, potatoes, kiwis), and the Bread/Cereal Group (e.g. breakfast cereals, whole wheat bread, pasta).
What we want to do here is strive to include all food groups daily. There’s no need to worry about the number of servings each day. The goal here is to improve as time goes by. By focusing on trying to include each food group daily improvement in nutritional intake is achieved.
We also want to try to improve our daily nutritional intake by trying to eat fresher fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and pasta, and lower fat proteins. Perfection isn’t required – just improvement. Taking small steps from wherever the baseline is will get a person to where they want to be. Focusing on perfection will get in the way of the goal. As one focuses on these small steps while eating fresher and heartier foods the caloric content will automatically go down. There’s no need to be preoccupied with that.
For the brain’s sake, I’ve added another group to the basic food groups that is important because if you’re brain isn’t satisfied it will make it difficult to improve dietary nutrition. I call this group the Comfort Group. The Comfort Group includes all favorite foods despite their nutritional qualities.
What we want to do here is to allow ourselves to have something from this group whenever we have a desire for it; however, we also want to improve the nutritional quality of whatever it is we’ve chosen. For example, if ice cream is the item chosen from the Comfort Group we would strive to increase its nutritional content by adding berries. By adding berries one increases dietary nutrition, adds another food group to the daily intake, and adds fiber to the chosen food.
By focusing on color a person increases their nutrition with little thought. The most nutritious foods tend to be colorful. By choosing foods that have greens, oranges, yellows, reds, purples and black the quality of what is eaten is increased without having much knowledge about the nutritional content of the specific foods. Now that’s making nutrition easy and simple!
Here are some tips on what to focus on a daily basis with respect to color:
- Strive to make your plate as colorful as possible.
- At each meal ask, “What colors haven’t I included yet?” “How can I make my plate more colorful?”
- Praise yourself for adding more color to your plate.
- Try to create a plate that is at least ¾ colorful as compared to brown, white and beige colors.
Be willing to experiment with foods. Nobody likes everything. Instead of discounting a nutritious food because it’s disliked, it’s best to experiment with different recipes to disguise the unpleasant flavor. There might be a way that the food can be made to taste good. If a good try with experimenting doesn’t end in a positive result, it’s OK to forget about it. There are plenty of other nutritious foods to eat even ones with the same color.
Increasing nutrition shouldn’t be frightening or complicated. Dietary nutrition made easy involves simply focusing on basic food groups, color, and experimenting.