Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

Mar 18, 2015
Tagged with: Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

When you think of March, it usually involves leprechauns, college basketball, and spring. It is also National Nutrition Month, a yearly campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”. The goal is to encourage everyone to create eating and physical activity plans that focus on consuming fewer calories, making educated food choices, and getting exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of disease, and promote overall health. The goal is to create a plan for life.

I love this year’s theme. I have always strived towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some days, weeks, and months are better than others. Sometimes life gets crazy and you have to just do what you can to get through it. I am an Athletic Trainer who works crazy hours, is working towards my degree in Human Nutrition, and is trying to plan a wedding. I have found that when life is getting the best of me, I try to focus on one or two goals at a time to maintain that healthy lifestyle.

Today, I am going to focus on how to consume less calories without depriving yourself. Here are a few ideas on how to tackle this lifestyle change:

  1. Drink more and make it mostly water. Chronic dehydration can create lower energy levels, headaches, and muscle cramps. It can also cause people to mistake hunger for thirst. Drinking water through the day will help maintain hydration and decrease your chances of over-eating due to thirst. Your goal should be to drink 8-10 cups of water per day.
  2. Eat when you are hungry and avoid skipping meals. Learn to listen to your body’s hunger cues. Don’t eat because you are bored or stressed out, go for a walk instead. If you go for long periods without food, it could cause your metabolism to slow down and you may eat too much later. Both can cause increased weight gain. I know my schedule is crazy, so I plan ahead and bring healthy snacks like low-fat string cheese, fruit, chopped up vegetables, Greek yogurt, dry roasted nuts, etc.
  3. Stop eating when you feel full. The key word is full, not stuffed. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to get the message that your body is getting food. When it does get the message, you will stop feeling hungry.
  4. Eat slowly. Pick a place to eat in your house without distractions like the TV and computer. Eating while doing other things could lead you to over eat and not listen to your body when it is full. It also gives your body and brain time to get on the same page that you are eating.
  5. Focus on nutrient-dense foods. These foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs.   Examples of nutrient dense foods are: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, vegetable protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats (olive oil, avocados).
  6. Indulge on Occasion. Everyone has their vices and cravings. The goal is to not give up all of the foods you love, but just have them in smaller amounts, less frequently.   If it is a snickers you are craving, try buying the mini snickers and having 1 or 2 instead of buying a whole candy bar.

This is just a small amount of information on how to lead a healthier lifestyle. For more information you can visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics National Nutrition Month website.

My current goals are to drink more water and eat slower. What are one or two changes that you can make to begin living that healthier lifestyle?

Author: Kris Gratias

  • bobl07

    Thank you so much for the tips. Especially on the one on stopping when full. I really need to focus on that one.