Key factors for creating a nutrition plan

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Key factors for creating a nutrition plan | Photo Credits: The Foodie


Key factors for creating a nutrition plan | Photo Credits: The Foodie&nbsp

New Delhi: It is imperative to say that just like all human beings are unique as individuals, quite similarly the nutritional requirements are unique too. You might be tempted out to try another fad diet plan or even the plant that may have worked for someone known, but the truth is with diet- no one size fits all! Your body composition is unique and different from everyone else. Therefore, your diet plan should also be unique to you and it depends on a few factors like:

  1. Body Type: Body type is also known as somatotype and falls into three broad categories- ectomorphs have a lean body type with little body fat and little muscle mass. Endomorphs have lots of body fat and may gain weight easily. They are heavier and curvier. Mesomorphs have strong built and are neither overweight nor underweight. There exists a combination of body type too like ecto-endomorph with a thin upper body and high-fat storage in the lower body- more like pear shape.
  2. Lifestyle: The primary purpose of food is to provide you with enough fuel so that you can accomplish your day to day activities as per your physical labour. Lifestyle is typically ranged between sedentary, moderately active, and active lifestyle. A sedentary lifestyle involves light physical activity mostly associated with basic daily chores. Moderately active consists of walking 1.5 to 3 miles daily at a pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour (or the equivalent). Anything more than this is considered active.
  3. Physical Activity: Just like your lifestyle, the type of physical activity you may choose to do also determines your dietary intake. There are four main types of physical activities- aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone-strengthening, and stretching. Any form of intense physical activity will increase your calorie requirement as energy is utilized to help you perform the activity. Carbohydrates and protein along with healthy fats serve as the primary fuel for your body and the ratio and proportion depends on the type of activity you may choose to do regularly.
  4. Medical History: Your current or past medical history including your family medical history plays a crucial role in determining the diet plan that may suit you. If you have an underlying condition of diabetes- the focus will be on having low glycaemic index foods with good amounts of fibre that may reduce or stabilize blood sugar levels. In the case of cardiovascular diseases, the prime focus would shift on lowering the cholesterol levels with the help of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids.
  5. Biological Determinants: Biological determinants for planning one’s diet include factors like hunger, appetite, and taste. Your nervous system is actively involved in governing these three factors. Stressful situations can hamper with your satiety index and can make you prone to untimely cravings. While on the other hand, practicing mindfulness can help govern not only your satiety but also with portion control. Biological determinants also take into account food palatability which might be different for everyone out there in the form of cuisine preference, seasoning preference, and the preference of flavour and texture.

Footnote

Needless to say that the concept of one diet fits all is an absolute myth and a similar diet plan may work differently on different individuals even if all the meals are the same. Understanding the factors that help determine your customized plan and seeking an expert’s help when needed is the best way to formulate a healthy plan that works the best for you.

Nmami Agarwal is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.

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