Friday, March 2, 2012

Myth: I didn't make a New Year's resolution….now I will have to wait until next year!

Answer: BUSTED!

It is never too late to start making healthier choices for yourself! March is National Nutrition Month and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association) is encouraging everyone to “Get Your Plate in Shape.” The USDA introduced MyPlate to replace MyPyramid in June 2011. It emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products, and foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.

Start your resolution now by thinking about your plate. Eat a variety of foods to get the most nutrition out of your calories, while staying within your daily needs. Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables – they should be half of your plate. It's also important to understand portion sizes – reading labels can help.

Couple running together
Be sure to include physical activity in your resolution as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week, and, muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all of the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms). If you think you don’t have time, your activity can be spread out as long as you do at least 10 minutes at a time. If you take a brisk 10-minute walk 3 times a day, 5 days a week, you will have 150 minutes!

Some tips to help ensure success:
  • Partner with a friend so you can encourage each other
  • Make a grocery list, and stick to it
  • Try fruits and vegetables that are in season – they are less expensive and taste better
  • Schedule your activity time – it is easier to fit it in when it is planned
  • Start with small goals – even small changes matter
  • Stay away from fad diets and workouts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use reliable sources, such as The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the USDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the University of Missouri Extension.

For more information about making healthy food choices, visit

Contributor: Denise Schmitz, M.A., R.D., Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 816-482-5850

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.