Updated: Mar 12, 2020
Happy National Nutrition Month!
To celebrate, I created a 31 day challenge to help guide my athletes and soldiers through making small diet improvements. You don't need to do a complete overhaul of your diet, just make little changes bite by bite. Here's how it works:
Week 1 (March 1-7): Grab a notebook or a journal and record everything that you eat and drink in an average week. Do not estimate calories, but please do your best to guess the serving size you consumed. Take note of the times that you are eating too. Include your workout or training schedule and what you are eating before and after that. Be sure to track any dietary supplements that you are taking too.
Week 2 (March 8-14): Identify a food or a habit in your diet that you know you can improve. You all are very smart, you know to include as many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans as you can and to limit processed foods. This is a great opportunity to test out some better options for pre or post workout snacks, or better hydration habits. Find just one habit to improve and focus on that this week. Here are five that you can pick from:
1. Make sure you are hydrated before you get to your workout or training.
2. Try eating beets a few days a week, or on training days.
3. Pack a pre-workout snack that is a good source of both carbohydrates and a little protein.
4. Double check any supplements you are taking to see if they are third party tested. If not, than toss them out and consult with a Sports Dietitian to find a better one for you.
5. Aim to make about half of your plate produce - fruits and vegetables!
Week 3 (March 15-21): Keep up the good work! This week, identify another poor nutrition choice to improve on. See if you can swap out a less than healthy food choice for a much more healthy food choice. Make a plan that will help you be successful beyond this week. You are now working on two good habits, one from last week and one new one for this week.
Week 4 (March 22-28): Stay on your previous habit changes and try one more. This is a great week to check in and make sure you are getting enough daily servings of nutrient dense foods. Keep this good momentum going.
Last few days of the month: Now you have made three positive changes to your diet, make those good changes a priority and see how they impact your performance.
Click here to download and print the National Nutrition Month activity calendar for more tips and information about food that can help you perform at your best.