(WECT) - Nutrition is the key to living a healthy lifestyle so it’s important to pick the right foods and get enough exercise.
March is National Nutrition Month. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages people to make informed food choices and develop regular exercise habits.
The Academy recommends balancing healthy, nutritious foods with physical activity most days. According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ physical activity guidelines, adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, including at least two days of muscle-strengthening activities.
When it comes to healthy eating, Sonia Kennedy, a Registered Dietitian and the owner of Nutrition in Motion in Wilmington, says nutrition is about incorporating more healthy habits in your life and realizing it’s not always going to be 100% correct all of the time, but you just have to work at it and make small changes.
“The thing I believe a lot of people getting in the habit of is eating out too often,” says Sonia. “With that you really never know exactly what your food is made of so you don’t really know how many calories you’re getting.”
To start a more nutritional lifestyle Sonia suggests not eating out as much. She also suggests including non-starchy vegetables, such as asparagus, cucumber, and beets, with lunch, dinner and snacks. Those are low calorie foods that will fill you up, but they are also full of nutrients.
“I think a lot of people give up on eating when they’re hungry and no one wants to be hungry,” says Sonia. “You have to understand what the balance is to keep yourself full and not consume too many calories.”
The Choose My Plate website is a helpful tool.
Sonia says meal prepping your food is a great way to set yourself up for success.
“I find it important to go ahead and have my lean proteins made for the week,” says Sonia. “Go ahead and get those vegetables prepped out of the bags, cleaned, and cut up because that’s going to be too much to add to your plate with all of life’s busy schedules that people have.”
Sonia says National Nutrition Month is also a good time to highlight the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a Nutritionist.
“A registered dietitian completes a master degree program at a university,” says Sonia. “Then they’ll complete about three different sections, about 900 hours, working with community, clinical, and food service before they are allowed to site for the Registered Dietitian exam."
Sonia says Registered Dietitians are an indispensable source for people to learn how to eat healthy.
For more information on National Nutrition Month, click here.