In most cases, if asked to define what is meant by “well-nourished”, the average answer is likely to imply that the term simply describes the state of having sufficient food to eat. In fact, the term implies a good deal more than this, as it is not just important for humans to eat a sufficient quantity of food, in practice, both the source and the quality of the food that they consume can be crucial factors in determining the state of an individual’s general health. Consequently, for a more meaningful assessment of what is meant by adequate nutrition, it will be necessary to take a number of factors into consideration.
Just as it is necessary for the global environment to be maintained in a state of equilibrium, so that it can continue to support life overall, a balanced internal environment is equally important to sustain the health and fitness of individual living creatures. That is to say that each of the innumerable chemical reactions that are involved in the body’s metabolism must be able to fulfil its specific function. While these processes are, to a large extent, driven by complex chemicals that can be synthesised within the body, their synthesis is dependent upon the continuing supply of certain essential nutrients in food.
Due to changes in our eating habits, particularly an increased dependence upon convenient, processed foods, while many people are now actually overweight, this is certainly not a sign that they are well-nourished. To determine the extent to which they may be malnourished, some form of nutrition assessment will prove necessary.
Widespread publicity about the serious consequences of obesity has led to a growing awareness of the need to modify our lifestyles and while some are beginning to pay more attention to their diets, others see exercise as the solution and are signing up for a course of fitness training at their local gyms. Ideally, of course, those who are determined to shed some extra kilos and build a healthy body should be embracing both of these strategies. Before setting out, it is wise to gain some insight into what may be required by way of preparation, and the first step should probably be to establish a meaningful baseline, firstly to determine the best way forward, and secondly to provide some measurements against which to judge one’s progress.
On the surface, cutting out carbs and fats may seem like a good way to slim down. However, a healthy diet is a balanced one – one that supplies the necessary amounts of all of the body’s essential nutrients, including minerals and vitamins, and should ideally be based on a professional assessment to determine the initial state of nutrition.
In its most comprehensive form, this kind of evaluation should include a clinical examination, a battery of biomedical tests and an inventory of selected physical measurements, as well as a questionnaire designed to identify any current eating habits that may need to be modified. Armed with this information, a nutritionist or fitness trainer will be able to suggest a balanced eating plan, which includes any supplements that may appear necessary to meet the demands on your stamina and strength arising from the proposed exercise programme.