The first step to setting a positive nutrition goal is understanding what goes into a healthy diet and how that differs from a diet focused on weight loss. There are no bad foods, only bad diets. So if you want to improve your health or lose weight, don’t banish any food groups or types of food completely.
Weight loss is a common goal for people who want to improve their health, but there are other nutrition goals that are worth considering. Here are five nutrition goals that are better than weight loss:
1. Eat more vegetables
A good place to start is with a salad – any time you eat out, get a salad instead of an entree. Or try to get three servings of vegetables at lunch and two servings at dinner.
2. Eat less sugar
Sugary foods are absorbed quickly into your bloodstream, giving you a sugar high followed by a sugar low. This can lead to weaker immune function and increased cravings for more sugary foods. So try to avoid sugary foods whenever possible and manage your blood sugar levels with protein, fat and fiber rather than carbs.
3. Eat less processed food
As much as possible, try to eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains instead of processed foods that contain refined ingredients like white flour and added sugars.
4. Drink less alcohol
Alcohol increases insulin levels, which in turn causes your body to store fat. Moderate consumption is generally fine if you’re watching your calorie intake.
5. Eat in season
When things aren’t in season in your area, they’ve probably been shipped from far away, which means they’ve lost some of their nutritional value by the time they reach you (if they haven’t lost all of it).
6. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated can help keep your skin looking young and healthy, which may be an added benefit if you’re trying to lose weight — drinking water instead of sugary beverages can help you cut back on calories.