Jamaica | Mar 6, 2023

It’s National Nutrition Month! What are you doing differently this week to achieve a healthy diet?

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 4 minutes

When many people think of a healthy diet they oftentimes think of a diet that is boring and deprives them of the food that they love, however, that is not necessarily the case.

A healthy diet refers to an eating habit which provides the body with the essential nutrients and minerals that is important in the development and functioning of the body.

It is very easy to begin the journey of a healthy diet, however, as the journey progresses you will soon recognize that there are several challenges that may arise which require you to be committed and disciplined in the journey.

As the world recognises National Nutrition Month during the month of March, Our Today has some helpful tips that can assist you on your journey to achieving a healthy diet.

Create a meal plan

A great way to achieve consistency in your journey to a healthy diet is to develop a meal plan. Having a meal plan in place can have several advantages such as limiting the portion of unhealthy foods that you consume on a daily basis while allowing you to save money in the process.

A meal plan also allows you to have your meals in portions, therefore allowing you to enjoy your meals with the right amount of nutrients that is needed while observing your salt and sugar intake.

Start by making a list of meal ideas that you will prepare for the week. Ensure that you maintain a balanced diet in the process which includes foods from all five food groups. When it comes on to fruits and vegetables, don’t be afraid to experiment with juices and shakes that can help to make your diet a bit more fun.

A meal plan is not just putting pen to paper but a lifestyle. Therefore it is important to note the plans you have set out at the beginning of the week and stick to them.

Prepare meals at home

Instead of purchasing food at a restaurant that may have a high sodium content, why not prepare a wholesome meal at home?

Home-cooked meals are generally more nutritious than the food purchased at a restaurant because meals prepared at a restaurant are usually prepared with a lot of butter and salt. When preparing meals at home individuals are usually more conscious about the proportion of salt and sugar in meal preparation.

Some people may argue that is it more affordable and convenient to purchase food at a restaurant compared to purchasing groceries to prepare a meal at home, however, one should never downplay the importance of the cost of a healthy diet for mere convenience.

Everyone should make their health, their number one priority, this means being mindful of the food we consume on a daily basis.

Get a diet buddy

The use of a buddy system can be a great way to keep track of your eating habits. Achieving a healthy diet can be a tedious journey for many people, however, the journey gets much easier when you have a partner to share the journey with.

A diet buddy can be a partner or a close friend who will serve as your support system as you go through this journey. They will also help to keep you committed to the journey if you should become inconsistent with your diet.

Studies have shown that individuals are most likely to achieve weight when they see the accomplishments of their gym partner which then forces them to achieve similar results. While a ‘buddy system’ is important, it is only as effective as your commitment to the journey.

Participating in regular physical activity while maintaining a healthy eating habits is a sure way to achieve your health goals. According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles and improve your ability to do everyday activities.

Drink enough Water

Drinking water regularly can have great health benefits for the body such as keeping the body at a normal temperature while assisting to get rid of waste and toxins from the body through perspiration and urination.

Persons who participate in physical activity will perspire rapidly, therefore your body will need more water. Health officials recommend 13 cups (3 litres) of water for men and nine cups(2 litres) for women each day.

Men normally carry out more strenuous activities that require them to perspire more, therefore they are required to have a larger amount of water intake compared to men.


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