March is National Nutrition Month: take steps to improve your eating habits

March 03, 2021

By Lacy Wolff, ERS Health Promotion Administrator

Good nutrition is about more than just counting calories to lose weight. It is about fueling your body with the right vitamins and nutrients it needs to keep you going.

Maintaining a healthy weight with proper nutrition and healthy eating habits is a vital part of preventive health. Adults should eat around two cups of fruits and three cups of vegetables per day, while also adding more whole grains to their diets, suggests the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. But, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 US adults eats the recommended amount of fruits or vegetables each day.

Nutrition-focused self-management programs

basket with eggs and fresh vegetablesTackling your diet can seem like a big task, but as a participant in a Texas Employees Group Benefits Program (GBP) health plan, you have helpful resources available at no additional cost to you.

HealthSelectSM plans: Well onTarget® gives you access to a variety of self-management programs. These may help you improve your eating habits and your health:

  • Nutrition for Better Health: Eat better to feel better. Learn ways to improve your health and lower your risk of illness with good nutrition and healthy eating habits.
  • Improving Your Cholesterol: If you have high cholesterol, this program can guide you in making lasting lifestyle changes that have been shown to keep cholesterol in check. Learn about weight, nutrition, physical activity and tobacco as they relate to cholesterol.
  • Managing Your Metabolic Syndrome: Learn about the five risk factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and low HDL (healthy cholesterol).

When you start a self-management program, you’ll be able to track your progress from beginning to end. You’ll also get a midpoint and final assessment of your progress. Log in to the Well onTarget portal through Blue Access for MembersSM to sign up for a self-management program. You can also download the AlwaysOn® Wellness smartphone app on Google Play and the App Store.

Scott and White Care Plans (SWCP): Under SWCP, you have access to a variety of wellness services at no additional cost, including:

  • Health Coaches: Contact a Health Coach by phone anytime, day or night. Your Health Coach is specially trained to provide you with health information and support.
  • Complex case management: If you have chronic conditions or complex care needs, SWCP nurse case managers can answer questions and provide education to help you have a better understanding of your condition and plan of care. You can request a screening to see if Complex Case Management is the right program for your needs.

Community First Health Plans (CFHP): CFHP’s Preventive Health and Disease Management department provides a variety of avenues to educate and remind participants of preventive measures they can take to understand chronic conditions, maintain their weight, and improve their overall health.

Need a little extra support from a weight management expert? Check out your health plan’s weight management programs

blue tennis shoe resting on hand weightsThe GBP health plans offer programs that may help you achieve your weight management goals and improve your overall health. You will be encouraged to adopt daily habits, such as eating healthier or getting more active, that may help your overall wellness.

Take a look at what’s available under your plan:

HealthSelect plans
Under HealthSelect, you can apply to join one of two weight management programs: either Naturally Slim® or Real Appeal® (excluding Medicare primary participants). You can participate in one of the programs at a time—at no cost to yourself—if you meet the eligibility requirements below.

You are eligible if you are:
  • an employee, retiree or covered dependent enrolled in a HealthSelect plan,
  • 18 or older and
  • have a BMI of 23 or higher.
You must choose one program or the other:
  • Naturally Slim is an online program that teaches you mindful eating techniques and healthy habits at your own pace. The program’s online coaches are your support system and help you learn how to pay attention to the appetite signals your body sends you. No foods are off limits!
               -or- 
  • Real Appeal is an online weight management program that has personal transformation coaches who help you get healthy and fit through weekly online group classes, tracking apps, and nutritional and fitness guides. You get a success kit to kick-start your weight loss that includes exercise DVDs and food guides—so you don’t have to give up your favorite foods.
Scott and White Care Plans (SWCP)

Under SWCP, you can apply to join the Naturally Slim weight management program to help you improve your health. Naturally Slim helps you change how you eat instead of what you eat. SWCP will cover the full cost of participating in Naturally Slim for enrolled employees, spouses and covered dependents over age 18. You must apply during a designated application period and have your SWCP member ID card in order to apply.

Community First Health Plans (CFHP)

CFHP facilitates health education services through community-based classes and educational materials. The following nutrition education classes are available to members:

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Weight loss/Youth obesity
  • Changing your diet to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol

Questions?

If you have questions about these programs or other medical benefits, contact your health plan.

  • HealthSelect: Call a BCBSTX Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039 (TTY: 711), Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT, and Saturday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. CT.
  • Scott and White Care Plans: Call a Customer Service Advocate toll-free at (800) 321-7947, Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT.
  • Community First Health Plans: Call the Provider Services Hotline at (210) 358-6294 and (210) 358-6030, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. CT.