You are what you eat. I’m sure you heard that numerous times in your life. March is National Nutrition Month by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you’ve been working from home or sheltering in place, your eating habits may not be as healthy as they used to be last year. Without dressing up for work, moving around much, and easy access to your kitchen for random snacking, the “WFH 15” may have invaded your waistline.
Fear not! March is the perfect month to regain control of your eating habits, and it can taste good too! Week 1 encourages you to eat a variety of nutritious foods daily. Try a new fruit or vegetable this week. Raw is always the healthiest way and gives you the true flavor. Pick fruits and vegetables with different colors because they have different antioxidants and nutrition profiles. Also drink plenty of water, not soft-drinks and juices. If you haven’t read a nutrition label before, read a few on the items you normally buy, could be eye opening!
Week 2 is about planning your meals. From my experience, this is where people fall off the wagon. When you don’t know what your next meal is, you make impulse choices which usually aren’t good! You’re in a rush and find yourself starving! The downhill spiral begins and it’s hard to stop. Plan healthier meals with your family for everyone to learn new ideas and get on board with healthy lifestyle choices. It doesn’t have to suck when one person is on a “diet” and can’t eat the same as others in the house. By planning and cooking healthier, good tasting food, everyone enjoys together and reaps the benefits.
Week 3 is taking your planning from the previous week and learning new skills to make delicious dishes that are good for you. Try using fresh herbs, or new spices on meat, chicken, and fish that you already cook. Stay away from breaded and fried, all you are tasting are breadcrumbs and flower anyway, not the protein you are frying. You may even feel better and not have a stomach-ache after eating grilled and backed items instead of fried. Wasting food truly is a sin in many ways. Make smaller portions or reuse the leftovers in different dishes if you’re sick of the same taste. Freeze what you don’t use after three days in the fridge if possible. Your wallet will thank you also because a dollar can be stretched when you repurpose food items for other dishes. How do you think gumbo and jambalaya became popular?
Week 4 is a good time to make an appointment with a Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN). An RDN is educated on how to work with any special diseases and conditions you have. They can also give more detailed guidance for weight loss and sports performance than a personal trainer or Corrective Exercise Specialist as myself. Knowledge truly Is power and combining an RDN’s knowledge with a fitness professional’s knowledge gives you the total package for maximizing and enjoying a healthy, active lifestyle.
You can’t out lift, run, or cycle a bad diet. Poor refueling choices have negative effects on everything you do and feel physically. Being sedentary multiplies your bad choices to increase health risk factors like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Those are three of the top five killers of Americans annually, and many could be prevented. Add to it COVID-19 as a risk factor, and you know who has the most negative effects and chance of death, people who are obese. Approximately 1/3 of all adult Americans are considered obese by the CDC, this does not include the millions that are overweight and headed to obesity.