Your New Year's Resolution - Focus on What You Can Eat!
Lt. Nicole Hoffman, Registered Dietician, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam,
Nutritition Managment Department
One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to lose weight. It is also one of the most tried and retried New Year's resolution each year! So how does one put thought into action and keep it up long term? Everyone knows weight loss has to be a long-term commitment so the actions need to be something permanent. It shouldn't be about what you can't eat, because realistically, that is not a long-term solution. Instead, make your resolutions about what you can eat for life.
Here are some mindset recommendations to adopt.
First think calcium. Get three good sources everyday. One way to do this is, of course, milk! If you are not a milk drinker, try orange juice fortified with calcium. Both are excellent sources and helpful in weight management, avoiding high blood pressure and maintaining bone health. Other great sources are yogurt and cheese. Already that's more than three options. A must-do nutrient for all people, all ages. No bones about it! Put this into action and make it happen everyday. Don't fool yourself by thinking ice cream is a good source of calcium. Ice cream is low on the list for calcium unless you buy one that is fortified, such as some Breyer's varieties.
Another idea for your healthy diet is stacking in your fiber. The recommendation for fiber is 20-30 grams per day! (Yikes, this is not as easy as the first recommendation). In any case, try including three or more servings a day of 'whole grains'. The food ingredients to look for are: whole wheat, whole oats/oatmeal, whole grain corn, brown rice, bulger, millet, buckwheat, whole grain barley, whole rye, and popcorn. Fiber is easy to get in a cereal with one or more of these ingredients. Most commercial breads are not going to have these ingredients but reading the ingredient lists is the sure way to find out. Also, make the switch to whole grain pastas and rice and you will be meeting your daily goals easily! High fiber diets are associated with overall higher nutrient food choices, better weight management and improved cholesterol. The best part is that high fiber foods suppress your appetite because it takes longer to digest than grains without the fiber.
An important suggestion to complete the resolution; lean towards low fat choices. I know, I know, Atkins dieters don't like this thought but the truth of the matter is, that lower fat versions are part of an all-around lower calorie intake. I know this one works because I have witnessed hundreds of people implement a cholesterol lowering diet and lose weight in the process (along with exercise*).
And, one last point, if you need to add something to replace a sweet tooth, then eat a piece of whole fruit. It is nearly impossible to gain weight from whole fruits plus you will get the added benefits of vitamins, minerals or phytochemicals that protect against disease.
There you have it - new ways to eat for a new year. If these are habits are made permanent they can promote weight loss and sustained health. Good luck and don't give up!
*It is presumed that exercise is already on the list of New Year's resolutions as it is part of the weight loss recipe.