What Is a Nutrition Action Plan?

A nutrition action plan is an action plan that outlines strategies that help people achieve optimal dietary health. It is normally customized to suit an organization or individual’s health level and needs.

According to an online article published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, physical inactivity and poor eating habits are leading causes of death in the United States. Studies have shown that unhealthy diet contributes to an estimated 678,000 deaths each year in the United States, due to nutrition-related and obesity-related illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. 

Tips for Creating a Nutrition Action Plan

There are several ways you can maximize your nutrition action plan. Basically, the key is customizing and finding the right plan that works for you. Keep in mind the tips below when crafting your next nutrition plan:  

Reflect on Your Goals: What do you hope to accomplish by creating a nutrition action plan? It helps to be specific when it comes to your goals. For some people, weight loss comes to mind. And for others, it can involve cutting off or lessening intake of a certain food group. You want to start with an objective in mind because this will help set the tone for your action plan. Customize the Action Plan: Everyone has different health levels and histories, it is important to be aware of where you fall in the health spectrum. In order to reach optimal health, an honest look at your overall health is required. It’s important to remember that the starting point of any good nutrition plan is based on the individual’s current state of health. One diet plan may work for one person but may not yield the same outcome for another person. Consult a Professional: It is always important to check with your doctor or nutritionist before engaging in any formal diet plan. This is not only for health and safety reasons, but you want to be able to form the most educated decision when it comes to your nutritional value. You can consult or collaborate with a diet specialist or your personal doctor to find out what works for you, your body type and your health level. Do the Research: Just because a diet is trending or your friends recommend you do it, does not mean you should. Aside from seeking advice from the right professionals, you can also do research of your own. Reliable information is relatively more accessible these days. You can read up on other people’s personal experiences with a particular diet or review testimonies coming from credible people. However, doing research on your own still very much requires verification and corroboration of your sources. Online research may be the most cost-effective way, but always be wary of false information online. Preparation is Key: From the name itself, a nutrition action plan needs effective planning. From the initial research to the actual meal prep, planning your nutrition properly will help secure better implementation. You can better anticipate or handle potential problems and adopt a more flexible approach, precisely because you prepared for it. To illustrate, if you know that you are attending a friend’s party with a buffet spread, you can prepare for it and adjust your nutrition plan accordingly. For example, you can opt to eat less during the day to allow more calories to be consumed in the evening. Effective nutritional planning and preparation is all about awareness and intentionality. Create a Grocery List: One common mistake among consumers is the failure to prepare a grocery list. When you head into the grocery, the stocked aisles and immediate reach of items are supposed to make you desire and want it, especially items that you don’t necessarily need. But if you arm yourself with a grocery list, it may lessen the chance of making impulsive purchases. It may not always be a foolproof plan, but remember that sticking to a grocery list takes practice and self-control.

What to Include In a Nutrition Action Plan

A nutrition action plan should always depend on the needs of the person. There is no one plan that is applicable to all, but there are some common elements that are generally regarded as good for a person’s overall diet. The best approach is customizing your own nutrition action plan according to your dietary needs. On that note, you may want to incorporate the following as well:

Introduce Variety: Having a mixed variety of food to eat can make your nutrition action plan more appealing and palatable. Experts generally agree that having a garden variety of fruits and vegetables in all colors is a good thing. Variety in food often means variety in nutrients as well. Not only can this keep things interesting, introducing diversity into your nutrition plan may even help you stick to your plan longer. Human brains tend to crave novelty. And with consuming different kinds of food, you are not sentencing or restricting yourself to just one type of food. Prioritize Fruits and Vegetables: Vegetables are good for one’s health is an idea that has been drilled into the psyche of millions of people from the time they were young. But most people only truly understand what that means by the time they are older and are confronted with the realities of declining health. Fruits and vegetables are basic components that should be part of any diet plan. If anything, it makes up the most important part of the plan. Of all the food groups, it is a universally accepted notion that vegetables and fruits offer the most nutrients and contribute to greater health. Do Not Forget Protein: Fruits and vegetables are essential. And protein is another vital nutrient that should be incorporated in any diet plan. It is important to remember that protein does not only mean meat and seafood. Protein can be found in other foods like nuts, legumes, and dairy too. But when it comes to protein, you need to figure out how much of it you need. This can depend on various factors including weight and level of physical activity. A protein-rich diet might work for some but may trigger problems for others. It is for this reason that portion control is an important aspect in any nutrition plan. Observe a Balanced Diet: Like in most things, moderation is key. An effective nutrition action plan is focused yet balanced. This means healthy portions of carbohydrates, protein, fruits, vegetables, and essential minerals. And yes, even fats serve a purpose. The good kind of fat contains nutritional value, but it is the bad kind of fat that should be consumed less. A balanced diet means that the occasional sugary dessert or salty snack is fine and acceptable. It is when a diet is mostly comprised of sugar and sodium that makes it a cause for concern. Consuming these two excessively can have dire consequences and eventually lead to a host of health issues.

How to Create a Nutrition Action Plan

To create your own nutrition action plan, it may be helpful to use a ready-made template so as to save time and energy. The easy-to-use templates above are customizable and printable. Just make sure to keep these steps in mind as you draft your plan: 

Step 1: Lay Down the Objectives

Like any action plan, you need to begin by identifying your goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your nutrition action plan? For some, it could be to decrease the risk of developing serious illnesses. For others, it could simply be to eat more food that contain higher nutritional value. And some people are left with no choice because they have to follow doctor’s orders. A person can have a single or even multiple objectives; what matters is that these help remind the individual of their commitment to a healthier lifestyle.    

Step 2: Craft Your Meals 

Nutrition essentially involves the food we consume and its effect on our bodies. Since food is central to nutrition, an action plan that seeks to optimize this obviously needs a properly outlined meal preparation strategy. Craft your meals according to what your body needs in terms of nutrients. Every person is different and not all diet plans work for all people. So to find out what works for you, you may need to consult a specialist or professional to really determine the most suitable type of meal plan. 

Step 3: Include a Time Element

Another essential component in a nutrition action plan is a timeframe. Whether it is certain days of the week or month, it is important to establish some kind of time element within your action plan. For instance, you can design a weekly dietary plan that outlines specific meals for each day of the week. It is up to you to decide if each day will include breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Having a timeline or time table to follow can make it easier to follow and keep track of your nutrition.    

Step 4: Employ a Monitoring Tool 

An action plan does not just cover planning and execution. Oftentimes, it requires a post-implementation program. Many people find it helpful and useful to monitor their progress. Employing a tracking scheme to supplement your nutrition action plan can promote greater accountability and ownership. To some extent, it can even help the person renew or refine his commitment to his health goals.    


What is a nutrition action plan?

A nutrition action plan is a detailed and comprehensive plan that outlines different strategies that maximizes one’s health, particularly when it comes to food and diet.

What is the best way to implement a nutrition action plan?

The best way to execute a nutrition action plan is by making sure the strategies contained in the plan are tailor fit or suited to your health level. Doing this will save you from unnecessary inconveniences and frustrations later on. An important thing to remember is that there is no diet plan that is suited for all, which is why customizing one that meets your needs is absolutely essential.

What are the five parts of nutrition?

According to the University of Idaho, nutrients are divided into five major categories. These are water, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.

Having a solid but realistic nutrition action plan takes more than just good planning. It takes time, patience, and self-control to truly stick to an action plan in order to get results. So before diving right into a new diet, make sure your nutrition action plan is firmly in place and more importantly, it is endorsed by a trusted doctor or specialist. Check out the sample templates above and get started on your action plan today!