Back to the Basics

Caitlin Husted, Staff Writer

For the last decade or so, America has been on a health frenzy. People have been dieting and exercising like crazy in order to lose weight and feel better about themselves. Sounds nice right?

Actually, it’s not. American’s are too obsessed with the “quick” results. They aren’t taking the proper time needed to lose weight in a healthy manner. People believe that if they cut out all unhealthy food and go to the gym for two hours every day, that they will lose weight fast. They might, but only if they can stick to their crazy plan, which most people can’t. With this in mind, America needs to go back to the basics. They need to learn the proper and healthy way to take care of themselves.

The most common mistake people make is cutting out all unhealthy foods from their diet, which is insane. It’s healthier to concentrate on slowly cutting out unhealthy foods, so your body gets used to it. Start out with concentrating on eating all of the right foods by following the MyPlate diagram. This diagram shows people the proper amounts of vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and dairy products needed daily for a healthy and well-balanced diet. The amount of each food varies depending on age.

According to, for women between the ages of 19 and 30, two cups of fruit, two and a half cups of vegetables, six ounces of grains (half of which should be whole grains), five and a half ounces of proteins and three cups of dairy products, are needed in order to obtain the proper amount of nutrients.

For men between the ages of 19 and 30, two cups of fruit, three cups of vegetables, eight ounces of grains (four of which should be whole grains, six and a half ounces of protein and three cups of dairy products are needed daily.

Although eating the correct amount of nutrients daily can seems challenging, there are some tips to help make it easier.

First, try leaving a bowl of fruit out where you can see it. You are more likely to grab an apple out of a bowl in plain sight than dig somewhere else to find another option. Next, buy frozen vegetables that can be heated in the microwave. This makes for a quick way to have steamed vegetables on the table for dinner. Another idea is to switch out your white bread for what bread. By making this simple switch, you will be getting more whole grain in your diet and most people can’t tell the difference.

Lastly, know that milk is not the only source for your dairy products. Items such as cheese, soybeans, yogurt and spinach are rich in calcium and can help you obtain your amount of dairy without drinking your weight in milk.

It may seem difficult, but if more people just concentrated on making these small changes to their diet, they would start to see results. No, it may not be fast, but it’s long lasting. By slowly changing your diet, you are more likely to stick to your plan and have results that last, which is what everyone really wants.