Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Easy Ways to Boost your Nutrition and Health

March is National Nutrition Month® – the perfect time to look at your diet and activities and take steps toward improving your health. National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The campaign has two primary aims:
  • To help you make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits. 
  • To promote the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as the most timely, scientifically based, and credible source of  food and nutrition information.
National Nutrition Month 2013
Source: http://www.eatright.org/

If you are one of the majority of Americans who falls short of your nutritional and lifestyle goals, consider using National Nutrition Month as the opportunity to kick-start a nutrition upgrade that can result in real improvements in health, energy, weight, and mood.  Indeed, good nutrition and regular exercise can do this for you.  To get started, take a look at these…


Five easy ways to boost your nutrition and health


1. Boost your nutritional knowhow


Knowledge is power, so power up your nutritional health by exploring some of these great online resources for reliable health and nutrition information.

Get lots more info on nutritional health at EatRight.org.


2. Get professional guidance


I knew a guy who believed that losing lots of weight would help him in an upcoming marathon.  While indeed it’s harder to perform well when you’re carrying excess body weight, he didn't consider the risks of losing too much too fast.  He went on a three-day fast, and then immediately took off through the desert on a 25-mile training run … and almost didn't survive!

We all know someone who, with the best of intentions, did more harm than good with a diet plan or nutrition plan that was either inherently unhealthy or not healthy for them personally based on body type or family history.  So, if you’re not sure where to start with your nutrition plan, or want to make sure your plan is safe – right for your body – consider involving an RD – a registered dietitian.  

A registered dietitian or “RD” serves as an integral liaison in helping individuals and communities make changes for a healthy delicious diet.  To explore this option, check out these resources:
An RD is especially a good idea for anyone with unique health circumstances, such as gastric bypass surgery, diabetes or prediabetes, obesity, endurance athletic lifestyle, eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, pregnancy, or any other health/lifestyle issue that puts the need for proper nutrition into a critical state.

Registered Dietitian


3. Make better nutrition fun for the family


As long as you’re learning all this great info on improving your health through nutrition, why not spread the wealth? Getting your kids involved in learning about better nutrition is easier than you may think, thanks to EatRight.org, which has great nutrition games for kids, such as Nutrition Sudoku and Nutrition Word Search.   Or try the printable Food Fun Messages (PDF) – a printable word puzzle nutrition game for kids.

But don’t stop with the younger set; here are nutrition games and quizzes for teens and adults:
Even when your computer is powered down, you can help your family absorb nutritional information subconsciously by printing out these nutrition tips to post on your fridge. 

Girl helping with vegetables


4.  Grow your nutritional knowledge and track your success


Go to Choose My Plate.gov where you can begin to track your diet and physical activity, digest information about the different food groups, and even print daily food plans and worksheets based on target calorie level and age.


5. Spread the word!


While you’re making this toast to a healthy diet and lifestyle, why not make it public?  Doing so has multiple advantages:
  • Publicizing your plan to friends can generate personal accountability, which will help you meet your health goals.  It’s easy to renege on your plans when the only one who knows is you.  But when friends know, there’s a greater sense of responsibility to not let them down or embarrass yourself by not following through. 
  • Telling others of your nutrition plans may encourage them to follow your footsteps.  With friends involved, you’ll have mutual encouragement to spur you on in your nutrition plan. 
To spread the word and go public, start by giving a “like” to the National Nutrition Month | Facebook page, which will show up in your newsfeed, and hopefully generate a conversation between you and your friends.   EatRight.org also has tips to help you get everyone involved in National Nutrition Month.


Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer

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