Why is Healthy Eating Important? Why Nutrition Isn’t One-Size-Fits All, & Simple Changes That Can Have Big Results

By: Kaitlynn Austin PT, DPT

As a recent graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I have learned many dietary theories, what constitutes a healthy diet, the importance of reading and understanding food labels, and why healthy food and eating habits are important.

No matter what your specific goal is for eating healthier, I have found the first step in creating healthy habits is to truly think about why this is important to you. Without understanding your “why,” the healthy habits you are looking to implement will come and go, may not stick around like you’d hoped, and ultimately: you may not achieve your goal.

The next important aspect of healthy eating is to understand we are all unique. Within proper nutrition, there are general guidelines and recommendations that work for the general population. However, there is not one diet, one food, or one way of eating that works for everyone. So, if your friend swears by a diet they tried, and you try the same diet, but don’t achieve the results your friend did, this is okay. The reason is our nutritional needs are unique – just like we are.

Additionally, it is key to acknowledge that our nutritional needs change over time. This means that what may work for you today, may not work for you tomorrow.

A few general rules of thumb when trying to improve eating habits and implementing healthier food into your diet may include: 

  1. Aim to shop in the fresh foods sections of the grocery stores. Fill your cart with vegetables, fruit, nuts/seeds, and whole grains. For some individuals, that also includes meats, fish, dairy, and eggs.
  2. Attempt to eat colorful meals. The more color variety in your food choices such as fruits and vegetables, can provide you with a wider variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. in your meal.
  3. Balance your plate at meals with carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
  4. Try home-cooking: you will know exactly what you are eating and what ingredients you have used.
  5. Fad diets are not always sustainable for the long-term. Aim for a nutritional change that is sustainable – a lifestyle change vs. a quick fix.
  6. Start reading food labels: the less ingredients -and ingredients you can understand – are usually healthier options.
  7. Be patient with yourself! Change is hard and takes time.

Please consult a health care professional for proper guidance on nutrition, and your personal needs.

Your nutrition is part of your overall health, and Body One PT is committed to helping improve your health by treating pain and problems of the musculoskeletal system. Our team of expert physical therapists works with clients of all ages and activity levels, and we’d love to help you start moving and feeling better. We’re both locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Take charge of your health today: call Body One PT!