The 5 Basics of Optimal Nutrition

The 5 Basics of Optimal Nutrition

This may be a cliché, but it’s worth repeating: what you eat affects your health.

Unhealthy eating habits have been associated with various health problems such as obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressures, and many others.

If you want to live a healthy life, you need to get your nutrition right. Improving a poor diet can even have a faster impact on your body than training, although the latter is also important.

But, what good nutrition or healthy eating looks like?

Well, in a video I’m about to show you, Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Luke Corey from UCLA Health Sports Performance, explains clearly and concisely what optimal nutrition is. Not only that, he also explains how to put it into practice.

The video is about 37 minutes long, but it’s well worth watching. Luke uses the balanced diet approach, which I also recommend.

A balance diet is a diet that includes all the nutrients your body needs in proper quantities. It can be distinguished from diets that extremely restrict or eliminate a certain food group, such as the currently popular keto diet.

Although an unbalanced diet may help people with certain health issues―for instance, keto diet can help people with epilepsy―but I believe that a balanced diet is the healthiest and safest approach to eating for most people.

In the first 7 minutes of the video, Luke explains the definition of nutrition, the impacts of nutrition on your day-to-day performances, and the differences between poor nutrition and optimal nutrition.

He then explains the 5 basics of optimal nutrition, which I think is the gist of this video. Those 5 things are: (1) eating schedule; (2) the key nutrients; (3) food selection; (4) portion sizes, and (5) hydration. This section is the longest part of the video.

To determine how much to eat, Luke uses the counting portion approach. In this approach, you pay attention to serving size, but you don’t count the exact calorie amount. He teaches how to use your hand to measure serving size.

This approach is more practical than counting calories. The weakness, though, of this approach is that you’re only guessing at the calories.

I think there are times when counting calories is important. For example, when you hit a plateau in your fat loss efforts. It’s hard to troubleshoot a stalled fat loss without being precise in tracking your food intake.

If you’re a beginner in healthy eating, I also recommend you to count calories until you develop a kind of “sixth sense” for portion and size. By counting calories, you’ll learn and get familiar with the calorie counts of foods you eat often.

You may think that counting calories is too tedious. But counting calories doesn’t have to mean writing down every morsel you eat throughout each day.

Instead, you create a menu plan for a day or week based on your calorie goal. So, you only need to count calories once in the beginning when you create your meal plan. After that, you just follow the plan.

Back to Luke’s video, after explaining the 5 basics of optimal nutrition, he discusses how to put those 5 things into practice by making a meal plan.

In the summary section of the video, Luke gives more actionable tips to help you implement the information he has given.

OK, this introduction is already long enough, so without further ado, please watch Luke’s video below. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

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