First let me say that the Proactive Aging Nutrition Program is based on peer-reviewed scientific research. I am a Registered Dietitian with a graduate degree in nutrition. I am also certified as a Sports Nutritionist with the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The guidelines from the following agencies act as the foundation of the Proactive Aging Nutrition Program:
- American Dietetic Association (ADA)
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
- USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- American Heart Association
The guidelines are centered on getting all needed nutrients in the proper amounts from the healthiest foods possible. There is plenty of leeway with the types of foods considered healthy as well the percentage of macronutrients recommended. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that the carbohydrate intake be between 45% and 65% of total calories, protein between 10%-35%, and fat between 20%-35%. These wide ranges account for different body types, activity levels, and personal preferences. The trick is going to be determining which foods and percentages are right for you. Micronutrients will also be monitored to ensure that there are no deficiencies or excesses. I believe that everyone is different and that no two diets are alike. Recommending someone to follow a predesigned diet is a big mistake. That is why the nutrition portion of Proactive Aging program starts with the foods that you are currently eating. Changes are then made in a step-by-step fashion. We realistically and pragmatically add better foods until the lesser foods are crowded out or reduced. I don’t expect anyone to eat perfectly. I certainly don’t. We are hoping for progress not perfection. Therefore it is imperative that the plan be adjustable to account for the normal ups and downs of life.
Improving your dietary choices long-term is going to involve the following four categories. A person usually needs to increase their nutritional knowledge, modify some behaviors, develop a better mindset (cognitive restructuring), and eliminate the “triggers” for overeating and poor food choices (stimulus control). This is easier said than done. That is why the most important aspect for improving dietary choices is the development of a workable plan of action. And by workable I mean doable. Let me say that again, the plan needs to be doable. The days of drastically changing your diet all at once are over. That method hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now. The plan needs to be a practical, step-by-step approach that a person can follow when their motivation levels are high as well as low.
The final piece of the puzzle is accountability. Resolutions without accountability are pretty much useless. Proactive Aging provides the necessary tools to keep yourself in-check and accountable.