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New Year’s Resolutions: Ten Tips That Might Just Work

Many people begin the New Year with new hopes of losing weight. The Nebraska Medical Center has a team of medical nutrition specialists who work with people of all ages, and with all types of complicated health histories. The key for the majority of people is moderation.

  1. Don t deprive yourself of the foods you like.
    Deprivation causes frustration, especially during the holidays when everyone is indulging. Pick a favorite food, have a small portion and enjoy it. You'll find you eat less chocolate cake when you allow yourself to have a small amount, than when you deprive yourself and make it a guilty pleasure. And remember, it's the first and the last bite that are the most enjoyable.
  2. Can't make it home for dinner?
    Fast food outlets do offer healthy choices for you and your family. Choose grilled or baked sandwiches without cheese and sauce. Instead of fries, try a side salad with a lowfat dressing. Drinks like low-fat chocolate milk or diet soda are a good substitute for higher calorie drinks like smoothies and regular soda. Even pizza can be a healthy choice with veggie toppings, or Canadian bacon and pineapple.
  3. Change your seasonings.
    Consider using different herbs and spices instead of salt in recipes.
    If you're making a salad, use sliced almonds or other nuts as a topping instead of bacon.
  4. Hold the saturated fat.
    When cooking a recipe that calls for meat or cheese, try lowering the amount. Don't eliminate the meat or cheese all together (see suggestion number 1), but lowering the amount in the recipe can cut the saturated fat and still make a tasty meal.
  5. Plan fun physical activity
    Organizing bowling, ice-skating or a swim at the local Y takes the emphasis off food. A family walk or a game of touch-football before Super Bowl can launch a healthy tradition.
  6. Get the kids to help put together snacks and meals.
    It will make them more aware of the food they are eating. Raw vegetables with a delicious low-fat dip are fun and colorful to assemble and a great counterpart to chips and dip. Try apple slices with low-fat caramel dips.
  7. Sugar-free is not always the answer.
    No-sugar-added products are often high in fat, (particularly trans-fats) and calories, and they are by no means carbohydrate-free. People with diabetes need to be especially careful of these foods, which can affect their blood sugar.
  8. Bake lighter.
    Some easy short-cuts to less fattening cookies and cakes that don't sacrifice flavor:
    Cut the recipe's sugar and fat by one third or use a sugar substitute like Splenda, which is recommended for baking. Substitute applesauce for oil in cake recipes. Replace high-fat sugar toppings with a low-fat whipped topping, tinted a seasonal color.
  9. Soup it up.
    There are lots of good soup recipes out there. A big pot of soup can feed several people for a few days. Look for soups that are broth-based and not cream-based. Also, watch out for the high sodium that often comes in canned soups.
  10. Establish good eating behavior for your family.
    Parents lead by example. Parents who make good decisions about what they eat can expect their children to do the same.