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What should be my nutrition goals for healthy living?

Nutrition goals for healthy living will vary greatly depending on the individual. In general, it is important to have a well-balanced diet. A meal should include a carbohydrate, a protein, and a fruit/vegetable. Of course this is an overly simplified explanation. However, once you have these basics for your meal, anyone can then focus in on specific parameters of the meal. You can choose how many grams of carbohydrate, protein, fat, cholesterol, and fiber to eat based on your personal dietary needs. The goal overall should focus on avoiding excess carbohydrates, fat, and cholesterol while encouraging higher fiber intake and lean protein. Temporary restrictive diets for the purpose of rapid weight loss are discouraged. Weight loss from these types of diets is usually temporary as the weight typically returns when the diet is discontinued. Adhering to a healthy well-balanced diet that is sustainable long-term is recommended.

Dr. Kelly Traver
Internist

The first question to ask yourself is whether you need to lose weight. A healthy weight is one that falls into a body mass index (BMI) range of less than 25.

After you have chosen a weight goal, subtract this weight from your current weight to get the number of pounds you need to lose to reach this goal.

Now you have to select your Personal Nutrition Plan. You will be given a certain number of servings from each of the food groups so that you will be sure to get all the nutrients you need.

Personal Nutrition Plan:

  • The 1,200-calorie plan is designed for women who don't exercise, don't work in physically demanding environments, are postmenopausal and/or 55 years or older. If you are too hungry on the 1,200-calorie plan, you may want to move up to the 1,400-calorie plan and add some exercise.
  • The 1,400-calorie plan is most often used by women who lead active lives, exercise on a regular basis, and are younger than 55 years old. This plan works well for most women.
  • The 1,600-calorie plan is good for women who are over five feet, seven inches tall and exercise regularly. It also works for a sedentary man.
  • The 1,800-calorie plan is recommended for men who are active and less than six feet tall.
Intermountain Registered Dietitians
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

According to the recommendations of the new food guide pyramid, some goals include:

  1. Make half your grains whole- get more fiber and nutrients from good sources of whole grain in your diet. 
  2. Vary your veggies, and make sure to get 3-5 servings each day. 
  3. Focus on fruit, and strive for 2-4 servings daily. 
  4. Go lean with protein, choose lean meats, low fat dairy, or nuts and legumes as protein sources. 
  5. Find your balance between food and physical activity, find something you enjoy doing each day that gets your body moving.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.