24 Hour Fitness Healthy Nutrition Guidelines

At 24 Hour Fitness, we know how important a well-balanced and nutritious diet is when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy eating is key to any fitness program, which is why we are pleased to offer the new 24 Hour Fitness Healthy Nutrition Guidelines.

The Healthy Nutrition Guidelines were developed by 24 Hour Fitness in consultation with Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, MD, former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and national health expert. This guide provides recommendations on how to design a healthy eating plan, how to balance your calorie consumption, which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit; and synthesizes information from respected authorities in health and wellness including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Paired with the 24 Hour Fitness Exercise Guidelines and Steps for Success, it is our hope that the Healthy Nutrition Guidelines help you achieve a healthier lifestyle that will support your fitness goals.

Download the Nutrition Guidelines PDF

Recently, the federal government released guidelines for healthy eating that show how we should balance our diets through both the amount & types of foods we put on our plates.

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. (http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf)
Source: USDA MyPlate. (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)
Source: Table A2 1. Key Consumer Behaviors and Potential Strategies for Professionals. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. (http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf)
Source: USDA MyPlate. (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)

DESIGN A HEALTHY EATING PLAN:
  • Whenever possible, buy food that is fresh rather than packaged, and grown locally whenever possible.
  • Visit farmers’ markets in your area for the freshest produce.
  • Plan ahead by creating a grocery list to make better food choices.
  • Prepare and cook more meals at home instead of eating out.
  • Consume more nutrient-dense foods and beverages such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products, seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds.
BALANCING CALORIES:
  • Learn the number of calories you need each day and maintain calorie balance over time to achieve and sustain a healthy weight. Refer to MyPlate.gov to find out your daily calorie and food group needs (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate/index.aspx).
  • Track your food and calorie intake using a food journal, smartphone app or other monitoring device.
  • Enjoy your food, but eat less and try to leave the table satisfied, not full.
  • Avoid oversized portions. Refer to MyPlate.gov for appropriate serving sizes.
  • Consume foods and drinks to meet, not exceed, your calorie needs.
FOODS TO INCREASE:
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables and consume many varieties.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
  • Increase fiber intake and aim for at least 20 grams per day for women and 30 grams for men.
  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains.
  • Switch from whole to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Choose a variety of foods with protein such as meat, eggs, dairy, seafood, beans, nuts, and soy products.
  • Increase the amount and variety of seafood consumed.
  • Choose foods that provide more potassium, calcium, and Vitamin D, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fortified orange juice, and soy products.
FOODS TO REDUCE:
  • Limit sugary drinks.
  • Reduce salt intake to 2,300mg and further to 1,500mg if you are at least 51 years-old, of any age and are African American, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. Processed foods often contain high sodium levels. Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals—and choose the foods with the least sodium.
  • Limit the consumption of foods with refined grains, especially those that contain solid fats and added sugars. Solid fats refer to saturated and trans fats which are typically solid at room temperature (e.g., butter, lard, vegetable shortening, as well as tropical oils such as coconut oil, palm and palm kernel oil.
  • Replace solid fats like butter, lard, and shortening with vegetable oils where possible.
  • Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids (e.g., butter, cheese, ice cream, beef, and pork).
  • If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to one drink (for women) or two drinks per day (for men). Alcohol is high in calories and for some people, increases the risk for certain chronic diseases.

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. (http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf)
Source: USDA MyPlate. (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)
Source: Table A2 1. Key Consumer Behaviors and Potential Strategies for Professionals. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. (http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf)
Source: USDA MyPlate. (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)

Recently, the federal government released guidelines for healthy eating that show how we should balance our diets through both the amount & types of foods we put on our plates.

Proteins

Choose a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds.

Replace protein foods that are high in solid fat with choices that are lower in solid fats and calories.

Choose seafood in place of some meat and poultry.

Avoid processed meat, such as packaged sandwich cold cuts, which contain high levels of saturated fat and sodium.

Dairy

Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.

Increase intake of fat-free and low-fat dairy products such as yogurt or cottage cheese, which are good sources of calcium and Vitamin D.

Fruit

Focus on fruits for snacks and try a variety, from citrus to berries and stone fruits.

For more nutritional value, choose whole or cut up fruits more often than fruit juice.

Fiber

Fill your diet with fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Navy beans, split peas, lentils, pinto beans and black beans also have high levels of dietary fiber.

Women should aim to get 22g to 28g of fiber a day, while men should aim to consume 28g to 34 g of fiber daily.

Vegetables

Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark green, red and orange vegetables, as well as peas. Some examples are spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots. (Vegetables are relatively low in calories and high in water and fiber.)

Consumption of vegetables and fruits is associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases.

Fats, Cholesterol & Salt

Limit cholesterol, saturated fat, and avoid trans fats.

Plant oils, nuts and fish are the healthiest sources of fat.

Use oils to replace solid fats whenever possible.

Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids.

Keep cholesterol to less than 300mg a day.

Reduce salt intake.

Grains

Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.

Whole grains include the entire grain seed, called a kernel, which consists of the bran, germ and endosperm. Refined grains have been processed to remove the bran and germ, which also removes dietary fiber, iron and many B vitamins.

Oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice, are the best sources of whole grains.

Avoid refined grains, such as white bread, which are processed and contain added sugars, solid fats, and salt.

Beverages

Drink plenty of water.

Replace sugary drinks with water.

Avoid beverages, like soda, that add calories without providing essential nutrients.

When drinking juice, 100% fruit juice is encouraged.

Limit alcohol intake.

Vitamins

Choose foods that provide more potassium, calcium, Vitamin D and B vitamins.

Good sources include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products.

A daily vitamin can be helpful if you’re not getting enough of these substances in your diet.

Source: DG = Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. (http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf) Source: Harvard = The Nutrition Source: Healthy Eating Plate and Healthy Eating Pyramid: (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/)

There are a variety of online nutrition tools that will aid you in eating healthy, tracking your daily food and calorie consumption, and monitoring your overall progress. Listed below are some interactive nutrition tools to help you establish and maintain a healthy diet and weight.

Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program. These materials are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical professional.