The Importance of a Personalized Diet: 5 Easy Ways to Create Your Personalized Eating Plan by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
There’s no “one diet” that everyone should follow – there are many different nutrition paths that can lead to the same destination of good health. Nutrition can be very complex, and in some cases, personalizing your diet plan is the best way to get results. Here are five ways to create your personalized eating plan:
1. Set a Goal
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle or simply increase the number of plant-based foods in your diet, you will need to consider how your dietary pattern can help you to reach your goals. Weight loss means:
- Focusing on nutrient-dense foods.
- Adequate protein is necessary for muscle growth.
- If you’re planning to go vegetarian, you’ll need to make careful choices to make sure you get enough protein, iron and calcium.
2. Find Balance
The right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats is important for good health. But, if a plan reduces carbohydrates to an unrealistically low level, for example, you’ll risk missing out on other important nutrients. If your plan is too strict or so low in calories that you have no energy to workout, it’s not going to work for you.
3. Get Comfortable With Supplements
Combine your healthy diet with daily supplementation. Even with the best of intentions, we may not always eat as well as we can. A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement or even a protein shake can help to close any gaps.
4. Don’t Be Trendy
Many diet trends – such as the keto diet – can be unbalanced and difficult to follow long-term. Rather than jumping on the latest trend, build your diet around the healthy foods you love and learn how to prepare them in ways you will enjoy eating time and time again.
5. Seek Accountability
Whether you find your own dietitian, use an app to track your meals or work with a wellness coach, all can help to hold you accountable, succeed and perform at your best. Having a supportive person each step of the way will help you stay on track, share your successes with you and help you through those rough patches during your journey towards a healthier you.
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