March 22, 2021

National Nutrition Month: Eat SMART

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GOALS OF THIS GUIDE

March is National Nutrition Month, a campaign promoted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics inviting everyone to learn more about making informed food choices and developing healthy eating habits. This year’s theme, Personalize Your Plate, promoted creating nutritious meals that work to meet individual food preferences and nutritional needs. Even though the month is nearly over, it’s never too late to take the steps necessary to eat better and improve your health.

Developing a healthy eating pattern is not a one-size-fits all endeavor. It often requires specific choices to meet one’s own nutritional requirements, which can get complicated and often result in the return to poor eating practices. But before you call it quits, take some time to rethink and revisit your nutrition goals, by thinking SMART.

SMART goals are a great way to break down an overarching health initiative into smaller, more attainable steps. In doing so, measurable and time-bound metrics help hold us accountable, while also providing needed motivation to keep going as we reach each milestone.

Often goals are too generalized and non-specific, such as “I want to eat healthier.” Without actionable steps or measures for success, this goal becomes too lofty, making it more challenging and difficult to attain. As a result, we tend to lose focus as well as the desire to continue forward. By developing smaller, more action-oriented steps, we build a framework for success.  

Start with a SMART goal:
  • Specific: Be as descriptive and detailed as possible, avoiding generalities.
  • Measurable: Ensure that your goal is measurable, with an easy way to track success (online or on paper).
  • Achievable: Your goal must be attainable, using tools, information and resources within reach.
  • Realistic: Is your goal realistic? Be mindful of your current habits, schedules and commitments.  
  • Timely: Set a start and end date to help hold yourself accountable.  

Example: During Nutrition Month at every meal I will “personalize my plate” by filling half with fruits and vegetables, aiming for four days a week.

It is important to evaluate your goals often and adjust them as needed to maintain your healthier lifestyle. Even if your goals are SMART, you may hit obstacles or fall back into old habits. That is when it’s important to re-evaluate your progress and get back on track for success.

To provide more insight, we’ve connected with LWCC’s wellness partner, Cooper Aerobics, to share some tips on improving nutritional intake. Ginny Ives, RDN, LD, CDCES, LPC, FADCES, ACE-CHC, Cooper Clinic Director of Nutrition,  provides 10 tips to eating SMART.

At LWCC we support and promote health and wellness as we work to better Louisiana one business and one worker at a time. We encourage our employees, our agent partners, our policyholders, and all Louisiana citizens to “personalize their plate” to develop a long-term, individualized wellness strategy.  Focusing on our individual goals will allow us to make a healthier future together.

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