Wait! Have you made your New Year’s resolution yet? Better question- have you broken your New Year’s resolution yet? A recent national survey reported that 65 percent of respondents report that they give up on their nutrition resolutions within the first three months of the year. Plan now to avoid New Year’s resolution disappointments by changing your eating attitude. Start slowly and develop a plan you can live with. Base your resolution on long-term solutions rather than short term fixes.
• Focus on the "do"
• Concentrate on making healthier choices
• Focus on enjoying feeling better, healthier and more energized
• Establish flexible, short-term, attainable goals
• Leave room for indulgences
• Adopt an eating plan that encourages variety
• Emphasize healthy eating and exercise
New Year’s resolutions you can keep
To make life easier, we’ve identified several specific steps to a healthier diet - steps that don’t require a food analysis kit! So get out your list of excuses and cross off "don’t know what changes to make." It’s easier than you think.
• Learn to read food labels. Food labels are a consumer’s best source of nutrition information. Whether you are trying to eat less fat or more calcium, the Nutrition Facts Panel can help you. Use labels to compare the nutrition of similar foods and to choose foods for an overall diet that’s varied, moderate and balanced.
• Cut your portion sizes in half. It is not always WHAT you are eating, but rather HOW MUCH. Remember - extra calories, from any food source, are stored as fat.
• Look at your plate as a pie chart. Fill at least 50% of your plate with fruits, vegetables and reserve at least 20% for protein foods (lean meats, dairy or legumes). The rest of your plate can have whole-grains and healthy fats.
• Drink at least eight cups of water each day. This will help keep you hydrated and may even help to stave off snacking.
• Plan meals and snacks ahead of time. If you stick to your plan, you’ll avoid overeating.
A weighted issue
Having just turned the corner on the most food-obsessed time of the year, many people are heading straight for diet season. If you are among the many New Year’s resolution dieters, you may need to watch more than your waistline. The promotion of nutrition misinformation has become a multi-billion dollar business: Americans spend more than $30 billion in the weight loss industry every year on diet plans and gimmicks that don’t work.
There’s almost no end to the nutrition tests and treatments, special food and food supplements, pills, gadgets, diets, books and magazines that are produced daily to take advantage of the public’s new health and fitness awareness. Because there are virtually no laws to regulate the diet craze, most of these items only create false hope and slim the wallets (not bodies) of the people who use them. Your cash is better left in your wallet if the product or service:
• Claims or implies a large or fast weight loss (more than one to two pounds per week)
• Implies weight can be lost and maintained without exercise and other lifestyle changes
• Is described as miraculous, a breakthrough, exclusive, ancient, etc.
• Relies heavily on undocumented case histories, before and after photos, and testimonials
• Is sold by self-proclaimed health advisors or “nutritionists,” selling the product
The best advice: Aim for a healthier you - the trimmer you will come. Work on making small dietary changes each day, and don’t forget to include physical activity in your daily routine. Seek the advice of a nutrition expert. Contact your local registered dietitian.
Honey glazed salmon and zoodles
• 2 (4 to 6 ounces each) salmon fillets
• 2 teaspoons honey
• Salt, to taste
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 medium zucchini, spiralized
• 1 medium yellow squash, spiralized
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
Grill salmon on a greased grill rack over direct heat until it easily flakes with a fork (145 degrees). Drizzle 1 teaspoon honey over each portion and season with salt and black pepper.
To make zoodles, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté zucchini, yellow squash, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes until warmed through. Season, as desired with salt and pepper.
Serve salmon atop sautéed zoodles. Garnish with sliced green onion, if desired.
-- Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.