March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Each January, millions of Americans make resolutions to eat more healthfully and lose weight, but many lose steam along the way. If you have trouble keeping your resolutions or meeting your goals, make this the year you create a solid plan that sets you up for success!
Start by Assessing Your Food Choices and Lifestyle
Keep track of what you eat and drink and how much physical activity you get so you can identify behaviors you would like to change.
One Large Goal can Seem Overwhelming
Break big goals into smaller, more specific goals, and include a list of realistic changes in your daily routine to achieve these specific goals. For instance, divide big and vague goals like "I will eat better" into smaller, more specific goals like "I will eat one more piece of fruit per day." Remember, while your goals should be challenging, they should also be reachable.
Make Sure the Goals You Set are Measurable
The goals must provide answers to "How much?" or "How many?" so you can easily review and track your progress. Evaluate your progress every week or two, and update your plan based upon your current progress or circumstances. Make sure you are giving yourself enough time to achieve each smaller goal so you are not discouraged if you haven't met them.
Seek Help from a Qualified Health Professional
A registered dietitian nutritionist is your best source of reliable and up-to-date food and nutrition information. An RDN also can help you determine measurable and achievable goals, as well as a plan to help you achieve them and support along the way.
For more information on how to stick to a healthy weight-loss plan this year, find an RDN in your area.