by Dr. Kirstin Lauritzen DC MS
Here is an incredible article that I believe is very pertinent to our series helping people "Getting Started." Dr. Kirstin Lauritzen has some great insights and approach to helping us with our nutrition while getting started on our Health and Wellness journey. I am very excited to include this information. I still learn a tremendous amount from Dr. Kirstin about nutrition, even with all that I have already done to this point in my life. As she states, "new and improved" information is constantly becoming available and we need to be consistent students of our nutrition and health. Add this information to your arsenal for helping you achieve your goals! – Chris Flury, MASTERSCARE.COM Founder
Nutrition 101 Series
Learn Simple Easy Steps You Can Use Everyday to Become an Expert at Nutrition
If you have been following along, MASTERSCARE.com has been teaching you how to even get started on an exercise routine. If you’re new here, I highly recommend you check that out – and welcome!
This is a nutrition series for the beginner. Any sport, any age, even any level of fitness or expertise – going back to the basics can always teach us something new. It can also help us see habits and routines that may have crept in that are not serving us. They may even be distracting us from our overall goal.
In this series you will learn:
Where to start
The basics of what to eat
When to eat
General recommendations on what supplements to take
When to take those supplements, and
How all of this relates for those looking to gain weight and build lean muscle, and for those looking to lose weight
It can be a challenge for anyone looking to learn something new. Everyone, including me, Dr K, and Chris, have had to learn what healthy eating looks like and how to apply it to our lives and goals. You are not alone and there are so many resources to help you.
Even further, perhaps you are coming here looking for advice on how to change your diet and lifestyle because your doctor told you some recent lab results came back and you need to make a change. But that’s about all they told you.
So, maybe you went home and did an internet search on “the basics of nutrition, Where to get started,” and a million articles popped up. There are so many articles on the internet with different opinions on nutrition, a plethora of fad diets, how to get 6-pack abs, counting macros… it can make your head spin. It might not help that when you were growing up they said fat and butter were bad… but now, they’re good?
Nutrition research and recommendations will continue to change as we learn more about how the body interacts with the foods we eat. And that’s okay. I’m going to give you a place to start that has not changed and remains to be true to this day. As recommendations change, I recommend embracing them rather than becoming frustrated by them. It is important for us to keep learning, and that means what we thought was right may change.
Where to Start
Step 1: It is important to remember that nutrition is unique to each individual. Your genetics, your lifestyle, your stress levels etc. are all going to be different and unique to you. Finding nutrition that is healthy for you is the trick to being successful. This may take some trial and error, but with a little effort and some time you can find exactly what fits you the best. I call this learning to eat intuitively.
Step 2: Identify your goals. Goal setting is a key part to making any changes in life. In particular, it is important to picture where you want to be, or where you want to go. For example, perhaps you want to run a 5k next year, or maybe a half marathon. Can you picture that?
Next, identify what steps you need to take in order to make that happen. Do you need to lose some weight? Do you need to change your exercise routine, or start one? Do you need to tackle some other health issues first? Once you have the end goal, what you are going to focus on, you can take the steps back from there. Now you have an actionable plan and the place to start.
Also – write it down. If you’re into sticky notes on your mirror so you see it each day, do that. If you’re into daily planners that you look at each day, each week – whatever it is, write it down.
Lastly, if your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, from experience, I recommend centering that goal around a skill you can learn. For example, setting a goal to run a 5k next year, or maybe it’s taking some cooking classes to become a better cook. I understand that losing weight or having more lean muscle – “looking better naked” – is a goal that is on a lot of people’s lists… but I’ve found that people are more successful when losing weight or gaining muscle comes secondary to learning, working towards, accomplishing something new.
If you think, or know, you need to lose weight because your health is being negatively affected by it, making healthy lifestyle changes could be the bigger, end-all goal. Weight loss will come with it. For example, for someone diagnosed with diabetes, pre-diabetes, cardiovascular disease or recently had a heart attack, the steps to take to getting healthy aren’t just losing weight. First, do you smoke? Second, how much alcohol do you consume? Third, do you exercise? Fourth, how often do you eat home cooked meals? Fifth, what supplements should you be taking? Sixth, what do you need to learn about nutrition, what foods do you need to add or avoid?
To read this series of articles from the beginning, click here.