It’s National Nutrition Month! Could it be my favorite month? Maybe, it’s one of them. It’s the month where you all get to learn a little more about how to eat healthy.
So, who is in charge of this NNM thing anyway? The credentialing body of Dietitians, called the Commission on Dietetic Registration puts out a different theme for NNM every year. This year it’s “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” I love it.
AND today also happens to be National Registered Dietitian Day. March is a pretty spectacular month.
So, how do you put your best fork forward? We like to say that staying healthy is 80% nutrition and 20% physical activity, so let’s focus on that 80%, shall we? Here are 5 ways that you put your best fork forward today.
- Make Small Changes: Drastic diet changes don’t work. Chances are, you’ll fall off the wagon and fall hard. Making small changes every day, every week, will help improve your chances of making those healthy habits stick for good. For example: Choose a piece of fruit instead of chips for your morning/afternoon snack, choose water instead of soda, or don’t get the extra squirt of butter on your popcorn at the movie theater. All small changes that reap big benefits.
- Control Your Portion Sizes: In a world filled with super sized portions, finding the correct portion size can leave you feeling a little ripped off. If you aren’t sure of the correct portion size, try using a smaller plate or taking less than what you usually take, with the self guarantee that if you are still hungry, you can get more. Stop when you’re comfortably full.
- Don’t Drink Your Calories: If calories and sugar concern you (and they should), then take notice of what you’re drinking. Soda, juice, sweet tea (sorry Southerners), and sports drinks can easily pack a large calorie load if you’re lazily sipping away. Choose water, when available, and sweeten it a small amount of juice, if necessary. Better yet, add some crushed berries for a sweet kick with minimal calories.
- Stop Fad Dieting: If you are fad dieting, stop. If you are thinking about it, stop thinking. I’m not kidding, this whole fad dieting craze is out of control. Stop the supplements, stop the paleo, stop the detoxing (whatever that is) and just eat food. If your diet is right, you don’t need the fad diet. If your diet is wrong, then no amount of fad dieting is going to help anyway.
- Take the Fiber 3-2-1 Challenge: Multiple studies have shown that individuals who eat the daily recommended amount of fiber (28g/day set by the Institute of Medicine) weigh less, are more regular and are healthier in general. Take the challenge: 3 servings of fruit/day, 2 liters of water/day, and 1 whole grain (bran, oatmeal, air popped popcorn, whole wheat bread) source/day. After a week, see how you feel – I have a feeling you’ll keep it up.
I hope that these simple ideas can help you put your best fork forward today! Happy National Nutrition Month!
Source for Fiber Challenge: Katie Ferraro, MPH, RDN, CDE, founder of Ingrain Health, Inc http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0217p10.shtml