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Nutrition Education: Nutrition FAQs


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How many calories should I be consuming?

Everybody requires a different amount of calories to keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day. Most people should consume around 2000 calories each day. Individuals that participate in sporting events or high level activity will require more calories each day. For an individualized plan, please refer to the Nutritional Analysis program offered in the Health Education Resource Center.

What is MyPlate?

MyPlate is the most recent image used for meal planning guidance issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With the appearance of MyPlate came the disappearance of the Food Guide Pyramid. MyPlate focuses on filling half of our plate with fruits and vegetables each day as well as having at least one item from each food group at each meal. For more information on MyPlate, you can visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that balances our energy intake and energy output. This also means that we are balancing what is on our plate by having a wide variety of each food group. Variety of each food group ensures that you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to function properly. To find out if your diet is balanced, please refer to the Nutritional Analysis program offered in the Health Education Resource Center.

Where can I exercise on campus?

There are several opportunities for exercise both on and off campus. An easy way to incorporate more physical activity is to try walking or riding your bike to get around campus instead of taking the Panther Shuttle. If you need to take the Panther Shuttle, get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way. You can also try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The Student Recreation Center offers a variety of workout classes that are free of charge. Another fun way to get involved is to grab some friends and create an intramural sports team. When it is nice outside, grab a friend and take a walk around campus.

Group Fitness Registration

Intramural Sports Schedules

How much exercise do I need to have?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 65 need 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise combined with 2 days of weight lifting each week. This might seem like a lot, but have no fear! If you exercise for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week and incorporate 2 days of weight bearing activity working all major muscle group you will meet these recommendations. You can visit the CDC’s website (http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html) for more information and tips to get you moving.

What supplements should I be taking?

Supplements can be dangerous unless they have the DSHEA logo on them. This logo ensures that claims and ingredients on the label are evidence proven and are contained in the supplement. If you are consuming a balanced diet with a variety of foods each day, the need for a supplement is not necessary most likely. The following website can provide much more information about supplements, their use, and how they are regulated. http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm153239.htm

I am always on the go with classes, meetings, working out, and spending time with my friends. How can I manage to still eat healthy on the run?

Planning ahead for busy days is crucial when it comes to the college lifestyle. Making sure you have grab and go snacks such as fruit, trail mix, granola bars, and single serve packages of whole grain cereal or crackers are easy to carry in a bag and don’t require refrigeration, use this handout for ideas Eating on the Run. If you have time to make dinner, try to make more that what you are going to eat that night and safe the rest for when you need that quick meal. For more tips on eating out, check out http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6850.

What are some exercises I can do at my desk or in my room that don’t require weights or a whole lot of space?

Exercise is important to our healthy lifestyle, so why not incorporate some simple exercise why you are waiting for something to print or your favorite show to come back on? Here are some ideas from WebMD. You can check out the whole article right here http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-at-your-desk.

  • Glance at the wall clock and rip off a minute's worth of jumping jacks. If you're a beginner, try the low-impact version (raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side while keeping your right foot on the floor; alternate sides)
  • Walk-lunges in your office or a vacant room
  • Take to the stairs -- two at a time if you need a harder workout! Do this 5-7 times a day.
  • Desk pushups can be a good strengthener. (First, make sure your desk is solid enough to support your weight.) Standing, put your hands on the desk. Walk backward, then do push-ups against the desk. Repeat 15 times.
  • To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Do 15 times.
  • Walk during your lunch break. If you find that boring, buy a camera and walk around taking pictures. Some experts say it's ideal to walk 10,000 steps a day -- this can be five miles, depending on the length of your stride.

How can I enjoy dessert without over indulging?

Most of us are used to having something sweet for dessert. Have you ever thought about having a piece of fruit instead? This is an easy way to work toward that goal of eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. On days that a piece of fruit just won’t cut it, having some ice cream or a cookie is okay. Of course, that is once in awhile, not every day! Try low-fat ice cream or even better frozen yogurt. If you are at a restaurant, buy one dessert for the table and share it with your friends or family.

What is a healthy diet?

A healthy eating pattern is one that provides enough of each essential nutrient from nutrient-dense foods, contains a variety of foods from all of the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories consumed with calories expended to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight. This eating pattern limits intake of solid fats, sugar, salt and alcohol.

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