CLEVELAND — March is National Nutrition Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 10 and 12.3% of adults meet fruit and vegetable recommendations.
What You Need To Know
- March is National Nutrition Month and Dr. Susan Albers recommends dieters to focus on mindful eating
- The CDC says that the majority of adults do not eat recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables
- Albers recommends keeping fruit in a place that is easy to see
- Sleep can also affect a person’s diet, and could cause that person to intake more calories the following day, Albers said
Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Susan Albers focuses a lot of her practice on mindful eating. She said that even when people want to change their behaviors, they get stuck in their habits and routines.
But there are small shifts in your routine that you can make to “eat more mindfully or consciously,” Albers said. “A way you can do that is by putting your electronics aside while you eat. Studies have shown over and over again that giving it your full attention when you eat significantly increases the enjoyment of your food and also decreases how much you eat.”
Put a fruit bowl in an easy-to-see location.
“Research indicates that we tend to eat food in close proximity. Within about two feet of us, so looking at that fruit, keeping it handy is going to increase the likelihood that you will eat it,” she said.
Dehydration plays a big role in our overall nutrient intake, so Dr. Albers recommends carrying a water bottle with you where ever you go.
“Seventy-five percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which impacts both your mood and your appetite. Set a reminder on your phone, every hour to remind you to take a sip,” Albers said.
Albers recommends prioritizing sleep.
“Missing just one hour every night tends to increase your appetite the next day. You eat about 100 more calories when you miss sleep. So aim between seven and eight hours every night,” she said.
Albers said to carry an emergency snack.
“We tend to reach for anything around us, whether it’s healthy or not when we are overly hungry. So keep mom perishables like almonds, trail mix, a protein bar… keep it handy for when you are hungry.”
Only about 10% of adolescents are getting the adequate amount of fruits and vegetables every day.
“Introduce trying new foods as a family. Sixty percent of Americans eat the same exact seven meals every week. So introducing new foods is going to help your exposure to really essential vitamins and minerals.” Albers said.