National Nutrition Week is celebrated in India annually from September 1 – 7. This occasion was brought about by the Ministry of Women and Child Development’s Food and Nutrition Board in 1982. The objective was, and is, to raise awareness regarding the importance of healthy nutrition for optimal functioning.
A well-balanced diet has many benefits for the human body. For instance, healthy nutrition and diet can boost your immunity, increase your energy, boost your metabolism, and even regulate your sleep schedule and moods!
However, in today’s age, with multiple takeout options and the stress of everyday living, healthy diets have taken a backseat. This has led to an increase in lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypertension, cancer, obesity, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Additionally, this high-stress lifestyle leaves little room in the day for regular physical exercise, which is also important for the proper functioning of the body.
Thus, this year’s motto for National Nutrition Week is ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite.’
This motto focuses on healthy eating rather than restrictive dieting. Due to our culture’s preoccupation with thinness, the words ‘diet’ and ‘nutrition’ have lost their meaning, with many people equating ‘diet’ with ‘starvation.’ Through this motto, the focus is brought back to WHAT you eat rather than HOW MUCH you eat.
This shift in focus is especially important during the pandemic when many people are plagued with uncertainty and fear and have taken to comfort eating. This comfort eating has led to an unhealthy eating pattern with very little regular exercise and overactive stress hormones.
Eating fatty, sugary foods can lead to sluggishness and feeling ‘full’ without feeling energetic, and a common complaint by people during this time has been a lack of energy and motivation. This problem can be solved by simply paying special attention to your regular diet.
Additionally, each week of this National Nutrition Month has a specific highlight:
Week 1: Eat a Variety of Nutritious Foods Every Day!
- Eat a wide variety of healthy foods from different food groups
- Remember to stay hydrated
- Learn to read Nutrition Fact Panels
- Practice portion control
- Take time to enjoy your meal
Week 2: Meal Planning for the Week!
- Make a grocery list and stick to it
- Become menu-savvy when dining out
- Choose healthy recipes beforehand
- Eat healthy meals at work, school, and at home
- Prepare a meal plan for traveling
Week 3: Learn to Cook Delicious Meals with Healthy Ingredients!
- Surround yourself with healthy ingredients
- Learn how to prepare food safely at home
- Eat together as a family whenever possible
- Reduce your food wastage
- Try new foods and flavors – experiment!
Week 4: Consult an Expert Dietitian or Nutritionist!
- Consult a registered dietitian or nutritionist
- Create a customized meal plan with the expert for your specific needs (rather than Googling ‘fad diets‘)
- Follow this plan religiously
- Note down the changes in your body and moods after switching to a personalized diet plan
- Thrive in your new routine!
So this National Nutrition Week and Month, through these easy-to-follow steps, you too can start your health journey while sitting at home! Don’t let the pandemic stop you from improving your life!
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