One small step for change, one giant leap to a healthier you

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” which encourages a return to the basics of healthy eating. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Lino Espinoza)

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” which encourages a return to the basics of healthy eating. (U.S. Air Force graphic by Lino Espinoza)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- We live in a society of instant gratification, wanting the best results in the shortest amount of time.

Have an illness? Here! Pop this magical pill that will relieve your symptoms in a matter of minutes, but be aware of the 15 other side effects that could be worse than your original symptoms. Need to lose 60 pounds in a month? Try out diet X,Y,Z without having to leave your TV.

That quick weight loss trick is starting to feel like torture so you go back to your old routine and gain more weight than what you started with. The feeling of instant gratification has just transformed into instant disappointment.

Instead of trying to achieve that quick fix, focus on small lifestyle changes over time for more efficient and successful results.

In honor of National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages making small changes by “Putting Your Best Fork Forward” and choosing healthier foods. Whether it be at home, work or eating out, the focus should be choosing healthy whole grains, low fat dairy, lean proteins, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines variety as, “A diverse assortment of foods and beverages across and within all food groups and subgroups selected to fulfill the recommended amounts without exceeding the limits for calories and other dietary components.”

Obesity has been shown to increase the risk of developing more than 20 different types of chronic diseases and medical conditions like Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and more, which could ultimately be prevented by making healthier food choice and healthier lifestyle changes.

Angel Planells, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, states “During National Nutrition Month and beyond, make small, healthier food choices – one forkful at a time.”

Small adjustments to your diet can lead to long term changes over time. These adjustments can be as easy as adding in an extra serving of vegetables to your day, cooking with extra virgin olive oil as opposed to butter, using ground turkey instead of hamburger meat, preparing your lunches two to three times a week to replace eating out, or if you do eat out choose the healthier lower calorie, lower fat and a smaller portion option. You are more likely to lose the weight and keep it off long term, as opposed to losing a lot of weight in a very short time and putting the weight right back on. Just keep in mind, the weight did not get put on overnight, so it should not be realistic to come off overnight.

There is a misconception that eating healthy means eating bland, boring foods. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Learn to make healthy foods that are delicious, easy and practical for your lifestyle. Spice it up with cultural foods, make it personal and have fun. Utilize your resources, such as consulting your local registered dietician, take a cooking class and research healthy recipes, videos and educational tools.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Burmeister, 17th Medical Group health promotion coordinator, at 325-654-1566, and keep watch of future NNM events throughout the month of March within your Goodfellow community.