National Nutrition Month: 4 Ways to Get Back on Track With Your Diet

March is National Nutrition Month and it's the perfect time to revisit those New Year's health resolutions you made back in January.

If you've fallen off the wagon when it comes to your diet or your weight, here are four easy ways you can get back on track:

Do a pantry sweep.

Spring cleaning will be on the agenda soon, so why not start with your pantry?

It's easy to stock up on canned, boxed and pre-prepared foods during the winter, but now is the time to swap these out for more fresh produce, whole grains and "live" foods (i.e., ones that actually have a shelf life).

Spend a few hours getting rid of junk food (try to donate it rather than throw it away) and treat yourself by stocking your pantry and refrigerator with fresh, nutrient-dense options.

2. Try a new diabetes diet.

By nature, diabetics have to be chronic "dieters", which means watching what they eat and how much of it more so than others.

But if your current eating plan is getting boring, there's no reason you can't mix things up.

Plenty of different diet protocols can be safe for diabetics, including the Mediterranean Diet, the Biggest Loser Diet, the DASH Diet, the Flexitarian Diet and the Engine 2 Diet.

It's best to talk with your doctor before radically changing your eating habits, but you may find it easier to maintain healthy nutrition choices by trying something new.

Make meal planning a priority.

As the saying goes, if you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.

Preparation is such an important part of diabetes and weight management because it prevents scattered eating and helps to minimize indulgences like fast food or unhealthy snacking.

A good rule of thumb is to prep your meals and snacks for the week ahead of time (or even just the night before if you can't prepare an entire week's worth of food).

Use recipe-finding sites like Pinterest to come up with new meal ideas (or visit our library of recipes here), and track your calories and carbohydrates with a smartphone app or a notebook.

4. Burn an extra 100 calories per day.

If you need some long-term motivation to get back on track with your nutrition, consider this: If you burn just 100 extra calories per day, this could add up to a 10-pound weight loss in one year.

You could also achieve the same result if you cut an extra 100 calories from your diet each day.

The caveat, of course, is that you would have to be eating a healthy amount of calories for your weight to begin with in order to see results. Still - it's important to remember that small tweaks to your diet and exercise routine can add up over time.

Source: US News and World Report

Photo by Daniela

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