March is National Nutrition Month, which provides a great chance to get back on track and kick those bad eating habits.
“Make small changes because unless you’re a superhero, you can’t make a complete life change overnight,” says Heather Hausman, a personal trainer and instructor with H2 fitness.
She says taking a little step, like switching out a soda for a healthier beverage, is a great place to start.
“Kombucha is a great drink,” Hausman says. “It’s a fermented tea so it has probiotics in it. It helps with digestion and gives you energy.”
Prepping your meals not only saves you time but is a simple way to keep you on track.
“Make sure that you have a plan,” Hausman says. “If you don’t have a plan, it’s very easy to pick up a candy bar or a bag of chips. But if you have something fixed and ready to go, it’s so easy to stay on track.”
She says just making sure you have a healthy snack with you helps. Keep things easy by grabbing a sandwich bag of cut-up fruits or veggies. Another option is a bag of mixed nuts.
“You are what you eat,” Hausman says. “If you throw a bag of chips in your bag, you’re going to feel crummy later. But if you eat a banana and some cashews, you’’’ going to have energy and feel good.”
Yogurt is another great thing to have on hand.
“All yogurts have probiotics, but you want to look for one that has low sugar,” Hausman says. “If you look at the ones with fruit on the bottom, those are loaded with sugar.”
She says if you look at the ingredients on the label, the first three ingredients are very telling of what’s in that product whether it be yogurt or anything else. If one of the first three ingredients is sugar, it’s not a great choice. Things like honey or maple syrup for flavor and a little sugar are OK, just be mindful of how much you’re eating.
It’s important to be mindful of everything that you’re putting in your body. Try eating as close to the ground as possible as you can. Sticking with fruits and veggies is the best way to go.
“The longer you go without it, the easier it is to say no,” Hausman says. “If you can hang on for two weeks cutting sugar out of your diet or at least cutting it down over time, you will be able to do without it.”
Buy the produce that’s already cut up. While it may cost a little more, you’re not going to end up throwing it away. You’ll actually eat it.
And don’t forget about exercise. Take the stairs whenever possible. Anytime you can get your heart rate up a little bit, that’s an extra bonus. Park as far away as you can while you’re out. Every step counts.
Consider partnering with someone to get things on track.
“You want to find someone to help you be accountable, a friend or a personal trainer,” Hausman says. “Keep a food and or an exercise diary. Whenever you write it down, ‘I ate three peanut butter cups,’ you’re going to second-think before eating like that again.”
For those days you can’t meet up with friends, send what you did workout wise to them. That way you’re helping each other stay motivated.
“National Nutrition Month is about eating right and exercise, it’s about the whole health spectrum,” Hausman says.