It’s March, which means the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is once again sponsoring National Nutrition Month to help raise awareness about how what we eat impacts our health. If you are looking for tips on how to eat better, one of the best resources available to you is a registered dietitian or dietetic technician. These food and nutrition experts are like the personal trainers for your diet and they are fighting on the front lines in the war against obesity.
This year’s campaign theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” which serves as a good reminder that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating food you don’t enjoy. Even making small changes to your daily diet and routine can make a big difference. But we know how hard it can be to make the kind of real, life-long changes that you need to make to change how you look at food, especially the healthy kind. This month, make a commitment to do two things. First, take a good long look at what you are eating, when you are eating, and why you are eating. Understanding your current relationship with food is the first step toward changing that relationship for the better. Second, take some of the actions outlined below which will help you jumpstart your journey toward better health.
Don’t fall for the hype of all the fad diets advertised on TV and the Internet; making real change isn’t complicated. Create your own personalized eating plan by just answering these simple questions.
1. How Active is Your Lifestyle?
We all operate at different levels of activity. Some people will have very active jobs, others will spend more of their day sitting down. Understanding your activity level is important to determining how many calories you need to eat every day to maintain a healthy weight.
2. What Do You Like to Eat?
One of the reasons many people fail when they try to lose weight or eat a healthier diet is that they think both of these things require you to stop eating the things that you love. But in truth, the best way to stick to the changes you are trying to make is to focus on filling your plate with the healthy options you already like. If you have identified the healthy options that you have available and have them on hand, you are less likely to reach for something less healthy out of habit.
3. How Can You Make it Healthier?
Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up all those delicious dishes from your childhood or even your family’s favorites right now. Rather than tossing out anything that doesn’t make the cut from a nutritional standpoint, try looking for ways to swap out unhealthy ingredients and make healthier substitutions so that your family can keep eating the things they love.
For more information on National Nutrition Month and other ideas on how to change your eating habits, visit the National Nutrition Month website.