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Health and Fitness

March is Navy Nutrition Month

Getting your Health Goals Back on Track

A study released by the University Of Scranton in January revealed the most popular New Year's Resolutions for 2014. Not surprisingly, "lose weight" and "stay fit and healthy" were among the top two.

The same study revealed that just eight percent of people go on to achieve their New Year's goals by year's end, with 36 percent straying from their resolutions after just one month. If you fall into the 36 percent bracket, Navy Physical Readiness and Operational Stress Control programs have tips to help you reenergize your commitments, get back on track and take the stress out of success.

"March is Navy Nutrition Month, which is a great time to take a look at the health and wellness goals you may have set in January," said Bill Moore, director, Navy Physical Readiness Program. "Most people tend to rely more on physical activity and less on a balanced diet to achieve their goals. Movement is only half of the fitness picture. What you consume makes a difference. Eating well and staying hydrated are equally as important."

With the rising cost of food and busy schedules, eating well may seem challenging. Finding nutritious alternatives to convenient comfort foods can take the stress out of maintaining healthy habits.

"Even with busy schedules and the temptation of fast food options that seem like time and budget savers, it is possible to prepare a quick nutritious meal without breaking the bank," said Lt. Cmdr. Amit Sood, a clinical dietician. "Start with a menu of meals you and your family will like and go online for healthy recipe versions. Try www.usda.gov for options. Check your kitchen to see what foods you already have on hand, and determine low-cost substitutions for what you're based on your grocery budget."

Sood also suggests preparing meals on weekends and when off duty to save precious time during busy evenings-and to avoid the temptation of heading to a fast food "drive-thru" on the way home. Planning meals and eating at home more often can lead to cuts in both calories and spending.

"If you do decide to go out for dinner, plan ahead and think about what you have a taste for," said Sood. "A salad with lots of vegetables is a great option to help fill you up, but ask for the dressing on the side to keep the salad nutritious." The same can be applied to beverages by choosing water over sugary and calorie-dense options. "Staying hydrated without excess calories will also benefit your overall health and achieve or maintain any weight management goals."

"Whether you're still trying to lose the holiday pounds or just want to maintain wellness, proper fitness and nutrition are essential in boosting your abilities to effectively navigate stress," said Capt. Kurt Scott, Navy Resilience Chief.

"Applying Predictability and Controllability-two of the Five Principles of Resilience-can empower Sailors and families to achieve their health and wellness goals while maintaining long term success," said Scott.

To help you recommit to your resolutions, check out the resources available to Sailors, families and civilians through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including a food intake tracker and a customizable recipe finder.

Click here for more information on Navy Physical Readiness.

For Navy Nutrition information, click here.

For more resources to help you navigate stress and thrive, visit www.navynavstress.com.


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