Keto, intermittent fasting, paleo, dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, Whole 30, oh my! So many diets to choose from, but which one will work you?

The answer: all of them and none of them. Weight is lost, and weight is regained. The key to losing weight and keeping weight off is not found in a diet. It is found in learning how to eat. It’s found in learning how to get all the vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, carbohydrates and calories that your body needs.

It’s not through restriction. It’s through balance. Most Americans are overweight due to excess. It’s not the carbs or the dairy or the sugar. It’s the excess of all of these foods. And our failure is in our impatience in wanting to lose weight. We don’t want to change habits, we want to change our weight. We don’t care if we are losing muscle or not getting our nutrition. We want to see the number on the scale move. And we want it now. Unfortunately, learning how to eat in a balanced and nutritious way is not very exciting. It’s not nearly as appealing as a gimmick.

In my more than 25 years of being a registered dietitian, I have seen it all. Diets come and diets go. But my most successful clients are those who stop dieting and learn how to eat. They learn that they don’t have to completely give up their favorite foods. They learn that they don’t have to skip social occasions. They learn that activity is important in living a healthy lifestyle.

They learn that stress, sleep and emotions all play into their weight and health. They learn that if you’re not eating fruits and vegetables, then you are missing out on the very best foods for your body. They learn that carbs aren’t the enemy if eaten in moderation. They don’t feel deprived or hungry or low on energy. They feel fantastic because they have finally found the key to long-term weight management and health and it isn’t in the latest diet fad.

So, my advice to you this holiday season and into the new year is to treat your body with the respect it deserves and get off of that diet roller coaster.

Honey-Orange Salmon with Roasted Rosemary Vegetables

Servings: 4

From Hy-Vee Balance Magazine

The vegetables and salmon all roast on one sheet pan, making for easy clean-up.


2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-inch sticks

8 oz. broccolini spears

1 c. frozen pearl onions, thawed

4 tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced

¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided

⅛ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. orange zest

2 tbsp. fresh orange juice

1 tbsp. honey

1-2 clove(s) garlic, minced

1-2 dash(es) cayenne pepper

1 lb. fresh wild salmon fillet, about ½-inch-thick

Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

Fresh orange slices, for garnish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine sweet potatoes, broccolini, and onions in a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Toss until well coated. Transfer to a 15x10-inch rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.

Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, orange zest and juice, honey, garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl; divide mixture in half.

Push partially roasted vegetables to the edge of the pan. Place salmon, skin side down, in center of pan. Brush salmon with half of the orange juice mixture. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork (145 degrees) and vegetables are tender.

Transfer salmon and vegetables to a platter. Serve with reserved orange juice mixture. Sprinkle with parsley; garnish with orange slices, if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving:

• 430 calories

• Total fat: 29g

• Saturated fat: 5g

• Trans fat: 0g

• Cholesterol: 60mg

• Sodium: 450mg

• Total carbohydrates: 17g

• Dietary fiber: 2g

• Total sugars: 9g

• Added sugars: 4g

• Protein: 25g

• Iron: 6 percent of daily requirement

• Calcium: 4 percent

• Vitamin D: 60 percent

• Potassium: 15 percent

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