The American Dietetic Association has named March National Nutrition Month. But to help us think a bit more deeply about our eating habits, the ADA has a second message that coincides with the themed month: Nutrition From the Ground Up.
So if you’re wondering if that means eating more foods from nature, you’re right, and if you’re thinking that this message is a call to build a healthier diet, you’re also right.
One of the foundations of developing a healthy eating plan is consuming plenty of plant-based foods, or foods from the ground. And while fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are full of disease-fighting vitamins and minerals, they also share the common denominator of containing fiber.
We now know that most Americans don’t get enough of the 25 recommended grams of fiber a day, but rather than relying on the new line of processed foods that are added with synthetic fibers, which can cause gastrointestinal distress and may not offer the same health benefits as fiber in its natural form, we thought we would focus on a diet that is all about helping you eat more fiber: The F-Factor Diet.
National Nutrition Month® is the annual nutrition campaign held in March to provide nutrition education and information. This campaign was created by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), in which they strives to improve Americans’ eating habits by stressing the importance of making healthy food choices, developing nutritious eating habits, and helping to incorporate physical activity to your every day life.
This year’s theme is simple and to the point: “Eat Right,” and the ADA website provides us with the 2009 Key Messages to help make sure we “Eat Right.”
Eating Right Messages for Everyone
Eating right and staying fit are important at every age! By making healthy food choices and being physically active every day you will help yourself live a more energized and healthier life (not to mention, feeling great about yourself!). Don’t get stressed and feel like eating right is complicated, start with these recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans: (more…)
The American Dietetic Association recently released a master list of the top 100 Smartest Diet Tips. Ever. Created by a team of their expert dietitians in response to some of the toughest diet dilemmas that calorie-counting Americans face, this list covers it all. From sneaky ways to get in your fruit and veggies to helpful hints on portion control, the list is exhaustive.
What is refreshing about this list is that it is not just about food per se. Many items on the list focus on the emotionality of eating, particularly in women and how stress and anxiety play into our urge to overeat.
Many items on list were common sense: Start eating breakfast, don’t supersize anything, and switch from whole-milk dairy to reduced fat or 1 percent.
But many of them were quite original. Here are five of my favorite diet tips from the list that I try to apply to day-to-day eating routine:
1) Make the most caloric item on your plate the smallest in size and make the vegetable item your plate the largest. (As long as the veggies aren’t swimming in butter, cream, cheese or oil.)
2) Spend the extra dollar or two and buy your veggies pre-washed and pre-cut in bags. Same goes for lettuce. It makes mixing together a healthy salad a much faster alternative to wandering around the kitchen munching on a bag of pretzels mulling over what I’m going to have for dinner. Four-hundred empty carb calories later, I’m no longer hungry and not satisfied.
3) If you’re having a dinner or holiday party, send your guests home with leftovers, especially the ooey-gooey ones. Maybe you’re the host who is too busy tending to your party guests to take a moment and eat. What happens is that once they leave and you settle into the kitchen to clean up, the plate of brownies, cheese platter and cupcakes are quicker to land in your mouth than in a piece of sealed tupperware. I love this tip and live the holiday season by it!
4) Think yoga‘s too serene to burn calories? Think again. You can burn 250 to 350 calories during an hour-long class (that’s as much as you’d burn from an hour of walking)! Plus, you’ll improve muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. My favorite kind of yoga is Ashtanga yoga. It combines cardiovascular work with strength and flexibility training that uses your own body weight for resistance.
5) Get calories from foods you chew, not beverages. Peeling and eating an orange is so much more satisfying than guzzling down 200 calories worth of OJ. Same goes for crunching on an apple versus sipping apple juice. Plus, you get the benefits of the fruit’s fiber when you eat it whole.
Here is the complete list of the 100 smartest diet tips. It’s thorough, simple and truly smart! Live by this 100-thick credo and you’ll never have to worry about your weight again.
There are so many roads that lead to the same weight loss destination. But according to a review of dozens of clinical trials, the best path to shedding pounds is the old-fashioned way of calorie-cutting and exercising.
In an analysis of 80 weight-loss studies, researchers found that approaches focusing on trimming calories – with or without exercise – were most effective at keeping the pounds off over four years.
On average, participants shed 11 to 19 pounds, then typically gained a little bit back over time.
The study, reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, stated that diet and exercise can work over the long haul if people stick to it and have realistic expectations. But, according to the researchers, people need to be prepared for weight loss to taper off after six months.
“Although there is some regain of weight, weight loss can be maintained,” write the researchers, led by Marion J. Franz, a registered dietitian and health consultant with Minneapolis-based Nutrition Concepts by Franz Inc.
Weight-loss medication also seemed to help somewhat in keeping the weight off over the longer-term.
Learn more about a calorie restriction diet.