Skip Navigation

MUSC Wellness Center

Healthy Nutrition

So, you want to get healthy and start a fitness program. That’s great news! The benefits of exercise are tremendous; however, it’s only half of the equation for a healthy lifestyle. Without the proper nutrition, your body cannot fuel itself properly. Here are a few tips to get you started.


  • Aim for food items with as few ingredients as possible < 5 ingredients is a good goal.
  • Take the processed snacks aisle out of your shopping trip, and you will avoid the preservatives, added sodium, and unnecessary sugars found in processed foods.

RID your pantry of these dangerous ingredients:

  • Hydrogenated Oil (Trans Fat)
  • Sugar
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Enriched Flour and Bleached Flour

Make HALF of all of your calories WHOLE.

  • Ignore the rumors you’ve heard that carbohydrates will make you gain weight. Carbohydrates will fuel your body with energy when properly chosen. Half of your diet should be made up of healthy whole grain carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grain breads and cereals, or try something new like quinoa.

Keep PROTEIN Low in Fat, But Rich in Fatty Acids

  • You will find plenty of low-fat protein in lean meats, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy products. Focus each meal and snack around one of these healthy protein sources.

Keep a DIARY, Track your calories

  • There are plenty of great free websites to track your diet; some even come as apps for your smart phones. Try
  • The average woman can eat 10 calories per lb. of her body weight without gaining, while men can eat 13 calories per lb. These numbers can be adjusted based on weight loss goals.

Vary your FRUITS and VEGGIES

  • Choose a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables for a full spectrum of nutrition in your diet; you will put the emphasis on vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Eat a minimum of 5 servings of veggies per day or a total of 3 cups.
  • Eat a minimum of 2 servings of fruit per day or a total of 1 cup.

Rethink your DRINK

  • Every system in your body depends on water. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Drink eight 8oz. glasses of water during the day to stay hydrated. Omit drinks with calories and sugar

Print the PDF





© 2016  Medical University of South Carolina | Disclaimer