March is National Nutrition Month!
March 1, 2020 | by BMI Staff
March might be the perfect month to celebrate nutrition on a national scale. Spring is defrosting the chilly winter air, and new beginnings are occurring all around us in nature. Gone is the hibernation excuse that comes with the colder months, and the ability to get out of the house and become more active is here. This might be the very reason that March is known as National Nutrition Month. In addition to exercise, this month-long holiday puts an emphasis on what we should eat in a refreshing way. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created National Nutrition Month to invite us to focus on making informed food choices. The slogan attached to the holiday is “Eat Right, Bite by Bite.” This tends to pull the focus away from the age-old practice of fad diets and restrictive eating; and instead, it invites participants to simply become more educated on the food they are choosing to eat. Check out these tips for eating right, and how to make simple choices every day that will positively impact your health.
Don’t Neglect Any Food Groups
Whether you subscribe to the food pyramid structure of our grade-school days or the more modern MyPlate symbol for healthy eating (introduced in 2011 by First Lady, Michelle Obama), the same basic principle applies. Eat a healthy mixture of all of the food groups to remain in optimal health. Restrictive diets say not to eat this and to eat a bunch of that, but those can be tricky to stick to and cause unavoidable cravings. The cornerstone of nutrition is balance and moderation. So how do you know which foods are good and which ones are bad? Whole grains and lean proteins will always win out over their processed and refined counterparts. Minimizing sugar (it doesn’t hold a place on the pyramid OR the plate) and avoiding processed snack foods will make you feel and look your best.
You’ve heard it before, and you’re hearing it now. Drink water! If you find you are craving a soda around 3pm or can’t enjoy dinner without a sugary beverage, opt for a replacement that won’t make you feel like you’re missing out on the joys in life. For that afternoon slump, heat up a green tea for that extra caffeine boost. Replace your dinner soda with a sparkling flavored water. No, it won’t be quite as syruppy and sweet, but we promise that after developing a no-soda habit, you won’t find the intensely sweet flavor as appealing down the line.
Practice Portion Control
Even if you are the strictest keeper of a restrictive diet, the results won’t ever appear if you are binging on the foods you ARE allowed to eat. The healthiest way to reach your fitness goals is to be cognisant of the number of calories consumed through the practice of portion control. Take a look at the suggested portion sizes on the foods you eat, and try your best to stick to them. Many online recipes also include serving sizes and nutritional information for your reference. Our favorite way to control portions while staying fulfilled throughout each meal is to take our time and enjoy each bite. Eat lunch with a friend and do most of the talking. Take long drinks of water in between bites to slow down digestion. Make your meals fun and focus on the flavors. You might be surprised by how much better you feel at the end of the day.
Interested in participating in National Nutrition Month? Don’t do it alone! Share this on your socials and invite your friends to participate alongside you. Our number one tip for forming healthy habits is gaining accountability. Choose one or more healthful habits to include in your daily routine, this month, and let us know whether you see a change in your mood, energy levels, and body!