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Achieving a Nutrition Resolution

03/17/2017

By Army 2nd Lt. Kelly Schaad

WRNMMC Dietetic Intern

At the start of each year, 40 to 50 percent of adults seek to better themselves by setting a New Year’s resolution. Achieving weight loss, improving health, and increasing physical fitness are consistently the most popular resolutions. Despite the best intentions, studies show that a high number of resolutions are abandoned within the first week.

 

While it may be difficult to stay motivated meeting your resolution after the fireworks have ended, it is far from impossible. Luckily, there are tools available to help make achieving success easier.
 
National Nutrition Month is annually observed during March.  The theme for 2017, “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” serves as a reminder of the tools available to help make informed nutrition choices. Briefly outlined below are resources that can help anyone put their “Best Fork Forward.”
 
An excellent way to begin tackling a New Year’s resolution is by formulating a specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goal. Having a well-formulated goal can positively impact success. The next step is to follow credible nutrition recommendations. An easily accessible reference is the Nutrition Facts label found on the packaging for most food items. The label provides information about the serving size, total calories and the number of calories per serving. For information concerning understanding a Nutrition Facts Label, you can visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website at www.fda.gov.
 
One online tool the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides is SuperTracker, which helps plan and analyze diet and physical activity. A useful component of the SuperTracker tool is Food Tracker, which provides a calorie and nutrient estimate based on food items entered. Other useful tools available from the same website include a BMI calculator, nutrition quizzes, and recipes. The website is located at https://www.supertracker.usda.gov.
 
The resources provided in this article do not represent a complete list of available nutrition and fitness tools. There are many additional resources available to assist in achieving a nutrition related goal, but when searching for information, be sure to consider the website ownership, the purpose of the information being provided, any affiliations or credentials, and the source of any listed references.
 
Remember to be SMART, start small and develop goals further as progress is made.