Ways of Wellness - Your online support for all things health and wellness!

Welcome to the Ways of Wellness blog! My name is Jon Steuart and I am a physical fitness and nutrition enthusiast. While all of the contents/opinions herein are based on my personal experiences and research over many years, and not any formal education, I am absolutely confident that there will be something for everybody who is interested in improving their physical and mental well-being. Please feel free to leave your comments and questions.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Top Five Nutrition Tips

When it comes to living healthy and getting in shape, nutrition is king. Establishing a consistent exercise regimen is extremely important. As is getting enough rest. However, if one doesn't eat the right variety of foods in appropriate quantities, the unfortunate result is a whole bunch of wheel-spinning.

There is all kinds of good information throughout the web that can provide one with some great ideas as to how they can begin to eat right. So much information as a matter of fact, that it can often times get overwhelming to try and determine which advice to follow and which advice to ignore. The following are my Top Five Nutrition Tips that, if nothing else, should get you headed in the right direction.

5. Let "Loose" on Occasion - This is great right? One tip in to our list and already I am saying to let loose! Not so fast...What I mean by this is that from time to time it is perfectly OK (and I would even encourage it) to eat fast food, eat ice cream, eat pizza, and so on and so on. Not only does doing so enable one to maintain their sanity (at least as it pertains to eating), but it also is a great reward system for yourself. Had a good week's worth of exercise and eating right? Reward yourself with some pizza on the weekend! If you are eating healthy 90% of the time, the 10% of the time that you indulge in a little treat is not going to hinder your progress all that much. Just don't get carried away.

4. Read the Nutrition Facts - Seemingly everything now days has a nutrition information panel stamped on it. That cheeseburger? Yep! That piece of gum? You bet. While not all food items are required by law to include a nutrition information panel, with so much attention being placed on the obesity problem in the United States (and other areas of the world), there is indeed pressure placed on manufacturers to do so. When reviewing the nutrition information panel, be sure to notice the number of servings in the item you are consuming. Take your average 20 ounce bottle of soda for example. While the panel may list 80 calories, if you notice, that is per serving and that bottle contains 2.5 servings. As a result, rather than consuming the 80 calories you thought you were (much of which is sugar in the case of soda), you are actually consuming 200 calories. Quite the difference right?

3. Eat a Variety of Foods - Not only is variety good for keeping your meals interesting, but, more importantly, eating a variety of foods improves the likelihood that you are covering all (or most of) your bases as it pertains to calorie, vitamin and mineral requirements. As you know, balance is critical for health and wellness success and that absolutely includes the foods that you eat. If one neglects certain food groups such as vegetables or fruits for example, they are also neglecting all of the beneficial vitamins contained in them. A puzzle can not be completed with all of the pieces, nor can a well-rounded, healthy mind and body. If there are certain foods that you just can't get yourself to eat and are concerned that you are missing out (and you are), I suggest that you purchase a good multivitamin (NOW Foods makes one of my personal favorites).

2. Plan and Prepare Meals - The majority of us live our lives on the go which isn't necessarily conducive to always making the right eating choices. If you are rushing around to get ready for work in the morning and time allows for either a shower or making your lunch and packing some snacks, my guess is that (and really my hope...at least if I am working with you) you will opt for the shower. As a result, you will likely eat out for lunch or make a "meal" out of vending machine snacks. Not only are these choices costly (seriously, if you routinely eat out for lunch, take a few minutes to calculate how much you spend on it each week, month and year), but they are often times rather unhealthy. Make preparing your meals and snacks the night before a habit and you will never go back! Sure the occasional lunch out is just fine (see Tip #5 above), but by planning and preparing your meals ahead of time, not only are you going to save yourself some money, you are also going to ensure that your healthy eating efforts aren't derailed as a result of "not having enough time" to pack food from home.

1. Keep a Food Diary - I can just hear many of you now: "Really? A food diary? Well THAT should be convenient...Not to mention the looks it should surely draw from bystanders, family and friends". To that I say: "So what!" Those who give you grief for maintaining a food diary are, in all honesty, also probably people who have failed in their efforts to get in shape, were blessed with great genes and can seemingly stay physically fit regardless of how many cookies they eat (lucky folks!), or do not have the self-discipline to do something similar themselves. By keeping a food diary, not only do you actually know what you are putting into your body and how many calories, sugars, etc. that it all contains, you will also know how and where to adjust your eating depending on your goals (i.e. to drop fat one needs to reduce their caloric intake slightly, to gain muscle, assuming a solid workout regimen, one needs to increase their caloric intake slightly). I suggest that you track the number of calories, grams of protein, grams of carbohydrates and grams of fat that you eat for beginners. With that you will have a great idea of what you are eating.

If paper and pen isn't your style, let technology be your friend! Calorie Counter by FatSecret is an application available for Android and BlackBerry users. This app has a very large food/drink database built-in, so whenever you eat something or plan out a day's worth of meals, you simply plug in what you will be eating and Calorie Counter does the rest totalling up calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and so on. Don't have a BlackBerry or Android phone? No worries, there are plenty of great tools all over the web as well. My personal favorite is FitDay which essentially does the same, but keeps all of your information online instead.

There they are: My Top Five Nutrition Tips. Give them a try and let me know what you think. What other nutrition tips do you have? Please share!


  1. This is will be effective. To get good nutritions we should know about nutritions and it's effects. We should know about nutritious foods. Diary should be good idea. Thanks for provide these tips.

  2. Thanks - I feel that a diary not only enables one to track their calories more effectivey, but it also gets a person to begin paying closer to attenton the food choices that they are making which can help create a more food-conscious person all around!