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The 5 Necessary Components of a “Good” Diet

March 24th, 2011 1 Comment

–By Nutritionista

Let me preface this post by explaining that when I use the word “diet” in the following paragraphs, I don’t mean the thing you go on to lose weight. I mean the way you eat in general.

I’m talking about these first two definitions of the word. I especially like “habitual nourishment” as a definition.

Anyway, I want to outline what I think are the 5 necessary components of good habitual nourishment. They’re purposefully a bit ambiguous, but that’s because I believe that everybody needs a slightly different combination (and amount) of foods to feel and look their best.

  1. Is it sustainable for you long-term? My motto is never do anything on a diet that you couldn’t do for the rest of your life. Because if you can’t do it for the rest of your life, you won’t do it for the rest of your life. And that could mean years of yo-yoing and frustration. Make sure that your diet is something you could maintain for the foreseeable future.
  2. Does it provide enough energy? You can’t live on a diet that has you feeling constantly sluggish, rundown, and lethargic. It’s just not sustainable (see #1!). Take care to make sure that you’re diet is one that gives you the fuel and energy you need to live the life you want to live, whether you’re running a marathon every other month or just lucky if you make it to the gym twice a week.
  3. Is it sustainable to the Earth? Sure, you could live on factory-farmed meat and produce flown in from Latin America, but the Earth sure can’t live on that. I recognize that you can’t necessarily accomplish this kind of diet overnight (I recently discussed the two “levels” of health!), but it’s something to be constantly striving for.
  4. Can you easily maintain a healthy weight? If the diet you eat doesn’t allow you to fairly easily maintain a weight at which you look and feel your best, it’s probably not the right diet for you. Sure, you can eat 1,000 calories per day and maintain a “healthy” weight, but it’s going to be a huge struggle. And that’s just NOT sustainable.
  5. Do you like what you’re eating? I certainly can’t ignore taste as one of the crucial components of a good diet! A diet that’s not delicious to you most of the time isn’t going to last. And it won’t be very pleasant. You might even get resentful after a while. So make sure you’re enjoying what you’re eating on the diet you choose.

So, does your diet (or “diet,” in the other sense of the word) live up to these criteria? Are there any others I missed?

  • I agree with you completely Leah. That’s why I continue to indulge in cookies, alcohol, and other treats in moderation. It makes a healthy diet enjoyable and easier to maintain for the long haul. Plus, who wants to live without chocolate and vino?!