Ideas to start your National Nutrition Month right

March National Nutrition Month® (NNM), an annual campaign from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association). This year’s theme, “Personalizing Your Plate,” calls for people to learn how to make informed food choices and develop healthy eating habits and physical activity.

Since there is no single approach to optimal nutrition, programming must be tailored to meet the needs of the customer. To account for unique bodies, backgrounds, preferences, and goals, NNM identifies four strategies for implementing individual healthy eating plans:

  1. Cooking and preparation
  2. Meal planning
  3. Diet diversity
  4. Visit a registered dietitian (RD).

For those wishing to adopt Healthy eating habitsAnd the Personalization Is the key. Newly released 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans DGA provides accessible nutritional advice and a reasonable starting point for most Americans. The DGA can be seen as the top of the funnel, while the end of the funnel (the little aperture) represents a personal and realistic feeding plan.

So what are the best techniques for narrowing the funnel? Here are four tiered strategies, adapted from the NNM website, that your customers can use throughout the month (and beyond) to build individual and long-term healthy eating habits.

First week’s goal: Plan the meals for the week

Planning a dinner menu for the week is prof Usually a cornerstone For healthy eating. Ten minutes of planning every week removes the energy associated with making decisions in the evening when you are tired and hungry. Moreover, it helps in creating a shopping list for the week. Theme nights can facilitate planning; For example, keep in mind No meat on Mondays, Taco Tuesday, Slow Cooker Wednesday, Stir Fried Fridays, And the Requests for exit on Saturdays, With Thursday and Sunday nights remaining.

Hint: Place a whiteboard or chalkboard in the kitchen with the days of the week as a cue to create a weekly dinner plan.

Second week goal: Try a new fruit or vegetable

A variety of foods can increase the intake of nutrients and antioxidants, which improves gut health and reduces inflammation in general. When creating a shopping list (based on the weekly menu), encourage your customers to expand their reach by including “new” fruits or vegetables that they haven’t tried yet. Moreover, buying groceries only from a set menu can limit impulse buying, which usually includes less nutritious foods.

Hint: Try less common fruits and vegetables like dragon fruit, star fruit, flowering kale, rainbow chard, bok choy crumbs, rainbow carrots, purple potatoes, jack fruit, and herbs like dill, coriander and rosemary.

Third week goal: Try a new recipe

Your customers I know They should eat healthy food, but not always know how. While expanding their palate with new foods, encourage them to try new recipes as well, especially those that contain vegetables as the main ingredients.

Hint: When trying a new recipe, sit back and eat as a family (or a group of roommates). Sitting and communicating while eating with family or friends has been linked with a series of Healthy behaviors.

Fourth week goal: Consult a health professional

The NNM recommends consulting with a registered dietitian (RD), certified health professional to assess feeding status and create meal plans. Fortunately, improvements in telehealth make the search for expert evaluation and advice far from a few clicks away. Not sure where to start? Talk to your primary care doctor first, as he or she can write referrals for RDs and other health and exercise professionals.

Hint: Encourage your clients to spend time thinking genuinely self to identify what is their biggest obstacle to achieving their goals: fitness, nutrition, medical / health condition, or behavior modification?

Adopting healthy habits during NNM may resemble New Year’s resolutions, as many people use the first of the year to spark motivation to improve fitness and nutrition. However, by February, the first impulse had dissipated and the former habits returned. Thus, the question to be asked is how can your customers maintain a relatively healthy eating pattern – during the month of March and beyond – when life pressures overwhelm motivation and reduce their motivation? Willpower is not the answer. The answer cannot be found in a motivational post or quote.

Instead, remind your clients that the answer is to gradually adopt new habits and strive for progress rather than perfection. It also includes letting go of the idea that nutrition is Bilateral (One thing or another). Food, diets, and eating behaviors are not “good” or “bad”. Nutrition is in a continuum, as some foods are more nutritious than others and some habits contribute to overall health more than others. People simply slide back and forth on this scale, sometimes eating ideal amounts of nutritious foods and sometimes consuming foods that are less nutritious. Your goal as a health and exercise professional is to push your clients toward a “nutritious” destination.

The last step is to nurture your customers’ growth mindset. As shown in MentalityBy Carol Dweck, individuals with a “developing” mindset (as opposed to a “fixed” mentality) embrace challenges, continue to experience setbacks, welcome efforts and learn from criticism.

You can help your clients foster a growth mindset for positive behavior change by encouraging them to:

  • Focus on the process, not the results
  • See challenges and efforts as the path to perfection
  • Find inspiration in the success of others
  • Avoid identifying themselves based on the results
  • Be prepared to fail, make mistakes, and start over with consideration to lessons learned

Personalize your board It is estimated that each person has a different starting point, and thus a different goal, along the most / least nutritious continuum. For more information and to download the toolkits that include advice sheets, activities, press releases, and planning materials, visit NNM site.

As an ACE Fitness Dietitian, you will help your clients make healthy, long-lasting food choices through nutritional education and behavior change.


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Written by Joseph

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