3 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Diet
August 31, 2021 – Many people with health conditions such as chronic pain, obesity, high blood pressure, and pre-diabetes are instructed to improve their diet and activity levels. However, there is little education out there to help people improve their diets unless we do our own research. For instance, US students receive less than 8 hours of required nutrition education each school year (40-50 hours are needed to help change behaviors). Nutrition is something that can play a huge role in the things we do. It can affect our mental health, physiology, and can ultimately affect movement. For this reason, physical therapists have been equipped with basic tools necessary for nutrition improvement. Below are some steps with information and tips to maintain healthy nutritional habits.
- Drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces. At least half of this needs to be water.
- Info: You may notice more trips to the bathroom, but the bladder is designed to adapt and should normally adjust after a few weeks.
- Tips: Buy an insulated water bottle you like to reduce plastic use, keep your water cold, and help you keep track of your water intake. (Example: 3, 24 fluid ounce water bottles should be consumed for a 145-pound individual)
- Avoid highly processed foods whenever possible.
- Info: Two-thirds — or 67% — of calories consumed by children and adolescents in 2018 came from ultra-processed foods, a jump from 61% in 1999, according to a peer-reviewed study.
- Tips: A general rule would be to avoid boxed food items and start spending most of your grocery shopping in the outer aisles (produce, meats, cheeses, nuts, and whole grains like beans and seeds)
- Learn when produce is in season and take advantage of generally better priced and better tasting produce.
- Info: For more information to find when produce is in season in your state visit: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
- Tips: Make healthy eating fun by visiting your local farmer’s markets and stands while they are available. Find local farmers and green houses who grow produce or online services that deliver to buy all year round. Pick a few favorite items and grow them outside in a garden, pots or even indoor!